The deteriorating quality of water and the orders passed by the supreme court go hand in hand. The first assessment of the pollution in the Yamuna was done by the SC about a decade ago. Since then over Rs 6,500 crores have been spent in the water cleaning process but the water stands as dirty as ever. There has been no improvement in the quality of water though Rs 6500 crores have been spent to tackle river pollution.
Tonnes of industrial waste meet the drinking water which points to the presence of lead, iron and chromium that is much higher than the permissible limit.
Treatment plants have stopped functioning due to presence of industrial waste that surpasses the capacity and limit of the plants. Toxic waste from industries in Panipat, Sonepat and other areas have accelerated the ammonia level to a record high that ultimately prevents the plant from functioning.
In quest of safer water, the Supreme Court has repeatedly sought updates from various agencies. The latest solution touted by the Delhi Jal Board – interceptor sewers, have failed to yield any significant result.
The 2002 Central Pollution Control Board report mentions that there are 13 treatment plants with a capacity of 221 mld catering to 28 planned industrial estates in Delhi which generate 218 mld of industrial waste water. However, it notes that ‘there is a wide gap in installed capacity and its utilization.’