Contamination of Yamuna: SC impleads Ministry of Jal Jal Shakti as party

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Observing that pollution-free water is a fundamental right which a welfare state is “bound to ensure”, the Supreme Court Tuesday sought response from the Ministry of Jal Shakti on a plea with regard to remediation of polluted rivers starting with the issue of contamination of river Yamuna.

The apex court impleaded Ministry of Jal Shakti along with Delhi Jal Board, Municipal Corporation of Faridabad, Prayagraj Nagar Nigam, Agra Nagar Nigam and Aligarh Nagar Nigam as respondents in the matter.

'Issue notice to the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the above newly impleaded respondents in the meantime,' said a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

Taking cognisance of contamination of rivers by effluent, the top court also issued notices to the Centre, CPCB and five states including Delhi and Haryana on the issue.

The top court, which directed its Registry to register the suo motu case as 'Remediation of polluted rivers', said it would first take up the contamination of the Yamuna river and asked Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit a report identifying municipalities along with it which have not installed total treatment plants for sewage.

The order, widening the scope of judicial scrutiny of contamination of water to rivers across the country, was passed while hearing a plea of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) alleging that water containing high pollutants is being released into the Yamuna river from Haryana.

DJB alleged that the water released by neighbouring Haryana into the Yamuna has pollutants including high ammonia content which become carcinogenic after mixing with Chlorine.

The top court had directed the CPCB to submit a report identifying municipalities along the river Yamuna, which have not installed total treatment plants for sewage as per the requirement or have gaps in ensuring that the sewage is not discharged untreated into the river. PTI SJK PKS RKS RKS