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Saving Yamuna from waste

Saving Yamuna from waste
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Despite successive orders banning construction work and dumping of waste along the bank of river Yamuna, Delhiites have continuously been reported violating laws.

In its status report filed before the National Green Tribunal, the Ministry of of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on 5 December, 2013, said that construction of houses and bathing ghats is being carried out along the river’s flood plains. Reclamation of the river’s flood plain, for construction purposes, is also going on, the ministry has said in its report.

The tribunal had taken cognisance and asked MoEF to file a reply on a petition filed by Manoj Kumar Mishra, seeking ban on dumping of rubble into Yamuna and ensuring cleaning up of the river.  
People have carried out construction activities along Yamuna, which now have been declared as illegal after enactment of laws. Residents, however, claim that they are living on the prohibited site since ages so they have got the right to construct houses on this land. In this stay of confusion, politics has already started over the issue.

Just before forming the Delhi assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia held a protest along with residents of the Yamuna Khadar slum in Mayur Vihar. Protesters alleged that the civic authorities did not provide them with a demolition warrant and no notice was given to them to vacate the land.

However, DDA officials present at the site said that the demolition was being carried out on a court order. The demolition drive was being carried out after NGT banned dumping of debris including construction material into Yamuna on 31 January, 2013, and had directed the states of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to remove the rubble immediately while making such an offence punishable with a fine of Rs 5 lakh.

‘We hereby issue an injunction restraining anybody, any person, authority from throwing any debris of any kind including solid wastes on the river bank of Yamuna or the water body near the river. State of UP, DDA, government of NCT Delhi and East Delhi Municipal Corporation shall forthwith start removing debris from the river bank of Yamuna and the water body,’ said NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

Recently, an NGO named All India Lokadhikar Sangthan opposing dumping of industrial waste into the river Yamuna was mandated by NGT to file the list of polluting factories located in Wazirpur industrial area. The next date of hearing for this matter is posted on 27 January, 2014. Court has taken cognisance in context of steel pickling factories, which are discharging harmful effluents. Steel pickling is the process of removing impurities, such as stains, inorganic contaminants, from the metal.

However, after all these apathy, Center for Science and Environment (CSE) has suggested a very unique and innovative ways to use waste and debris. The technique will not only solve the problem of clogging of Yamuna, but also give a source of energy, free of cost. In collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), a pilot project has been developed by Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd (IEISL) to demonstrate the potential of collection and recycling of Construction and Demolition (C&D waste) at Burari in Delhi.

‘Using construction and demolition waste material would be good option for building activity’, said Sunita Narain, director general of CSE. Surya Kakani, an architect, who has built buildings using waste said, ‘If we can identify small areas in cities where rubble can be recycled, it would save time and energy and make such recycled products cost-effective.’

‘Using construction and demolition waste material would be good option for building activity,’ said Narian.
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