CSE has closely scrutinised the detailed project report of the interceptor plan prepared by the consultants appointed by the Delhi Jal Board and found this hardware plan to be a complete waste of money. The river will remain dead despite the massive investments planned during 2009-2012.
It was in response to the criticism over the failure of the efforts to clean the Yamuna including the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) sponsored Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) that the DJB came up with the idea of interceptor sewers. So far Delhi government has spent over Rs 1,500 crore just to connect 50 per cent of Delhi’s population to its sewerage network. Delhi has the largest sewerage infrastructure—6,000 kilometres (km) sewers and 2330 million litres per day (mld) sewage treatment capacity. CSE in its report Sewage Canal: How to clean the Yamuna pointed out that a paradigm shift is needed in our approach to clean the river. An approach moving away from the standard hardware — sewer and STP — approach. It called for a plan understanding the linkages between water, sewage and pollution and most importantly the need for authentic data.
The Rs 2,500 crore interceptor project is projected by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) as a panacea to the pollution problems of the river Yamuna. An analysis of the detailed project report on this project shows that the project, as it is designed, will not result in a clean river. It will be more money down the drain. Clearly, we must discover solutions that will make a difference to the river and the people dependent on it.