NGT directs regular de-silting of south Delhi drain, seeks reports from MCD, DJB

 The National Green Tribunal has directed the authorities concerned to regularly de-silt the open and the covered areas of a south Delhi drain to prevent its putrid odour and noxious gases from inconveniencing residents.

The tribunal also sought further reports from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

The National Green Tribunal was hearing a matter filed by a residents’ welfare association regarding a partially open stormwater drain in the Greater Kailash-1 area that is allegedly emitting toxic and foul gases, thus causing health issues for the residents.

A bench of National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava said the total length of the drain is around 945 metres, of which 300 metres is open, according to a report filed by the MCD.

“Report of the MCD discloses that some de-silting operation has been done but as per the photographs which have been produced, the silt still exists in the open area and a foul smell is still being emitted, and no improvement of the situation has been witnessed by the residents of that area,” the bench, also comprising Judicial Member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said.

The bench, in a recent order, also noted the DJB’s report that said there were several points from where the sewage is entering the drain. Of these, six places will be trapped by March.

According to the report, sewage from Mehrauli also enters the drain and it will be trapped by June 2025, the bench said, noting the report.

It said until the proposed action is taken by the DJB, the MCD can “explore the feasibility and possibility of increasing the number of vents in the covered area of the drain”.

It also directed the authorities concerned to regularly de-silt the open and the covered areas and file an action taken report.

“The DJB will also disclose the capacity of the Okhla Sewage Treatment Plant, the extent of sewage which is diverted to the plant from different sources and also if the capacity of the plant is sufficient to treat the sewage ,” the tribunal said.

The green panel also sought a report from the MCD regarding the purpose of creating four channels in the drain, which reportedly caused difficulty in cleaning it.

Seeking further reports from the MCD and the DJB, the tribunal posted the matter to December 22 for proceedings.

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