It has been unanimously decided in the meeting that this year Visva-Bharati University (VBU) will organise the Poush Mela after a hiatus of three years.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on Saturday, jointly inspected the cleaning and rejuvenation efforts being undertaken at the Najafgarh drain.
Saxena and Justice Goel, accompanied by the Chief Secretary and other senior officers of the various stakeholder departments and agencies, took a boat ride from Bharat Nagar (Ashok Vihar) to Timarpur along the drain and took stock of the cleaning operations.
Justice Goel, after the inspection, appreciated the efforts being undertaken and expressed the hope that the same would fetch desirable results, in terms of reducing pollution in the Yamuna, as also revival of the Sahibi River.
Ruing the fact that persistent Court monitoring and orders in the past had fetched little results in terms of cleaning of the Najafgarh drain, the NGT chairperson asked the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to ensure that the efforts being undertaken as of now, are taken to their logical conclusion in a time bound manner.
Saxena on his part assured him that all the 122 feeder drains bringing sewage and silt into the Najafgarh drain will be trapped at the earliest and no stone will be left unturned to ensure that the drain gets rejuvenated into its original Avatar of a river, and stops polluting the Yamuna.
The NGT chairperson was informed that works on cleaning and rejuvenation of the 57-km drain using the extremely cost-effective Partial Gravitational De-silting Technology and trapping of 32 feeder drains bringing in unfettered sewage and silt into the drain, in the first phase on the stretch between Timarpur and Bharat Nagar.
While the works of de-silting and restoration of embankments from Wazirabad to Timarpur had been completed in November end, further cleaning works on the 7.5 km stretch between Mall Road Bridge and Bharat Nagar too has been completed.
“It may be noted that apathy and neglect on part of Government Departments and agencies over the decades have converted this thriving and treasured, living water body into a stinking dead drain, that apart from contributing maximum to the pollution of Yamuna possess a constant health hazard to the people living in its vicinity, apart from causing water-logging in its catchment area due to its inability to carry water,” an official statement said.
The drain has become an almost stagnant reservoir of silt sewerage and sludge with over 80 lakh tonnes of underwater solidified garbage / silt mounts, that has severely affected its flow and carrying capacity.
Efforts during the past couple of months have led to more than 50,000 tonnes of silt getting removed and efforts are on to totally de-silt the water body in a time-bound manner.
In addition to this, 27,000 tonnes of surface garbage / silt, mostly accumulated on the outer periphery of the drain have been removed and deposited on the banks.