The Yamuna was a drain that did not have a drop of fresh water in its 22-km stretch through Delhi, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed the Supreme Court yesterday.
"River Yamuna ceases to exist downstream of Wazirabad barrage during a major part of the year and gets its flow due to Najafgarh drain at Wazirabad downstream," a two-member expert body appointed by the court said in its interim report.
Presenting the report to a bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and S J Mukhopadhaya, CPBP counsel Vijay Panjwani said, Yamuna was a drain and fresh water did not flow in the river except during monsoon. He added, the entire flow of fresh water was harnessed at Wazirabad to provide drinking water to residents of Delhi.
Supporting the expert body's interim findings, amicus curiae and senior advocate Ranjit Kumar said what flowed into Yamuna within Delhi was treated and untreated waste and sewage water. So, it was nothing but a drain, he added.
The Supreme Court today said all parameters of water quality of river Yamuna indicated that it more or less resembled a drain and asked authorities to undertake joint efforts to make it pollution-free.
The bench said all authorities were expected to make joint efforts to free Yamuna of pollution. The bench asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to conduct a joint inspection on rising pollution level of the river in the national capital.
It asked the agencies to make the joint inspection along with the amicus curiae or his representative and to submit the final report in three weeks so that the matter could be taken up for hearing on 30 November.
CPCB also told the court that the national capital did not have a proper drainage system, which was a contributing factor to the pollution of the river.