Government of Haryana has told the Supreme Court that the plea by Delhi Jal Board stating that Ammonia levels have increased in the water discharged from Haryana is to conceal their utter failure in management of water allocated to Delhi.
The reply by Haryana stated that it is Delhi which is responsible for increased Ammonia levels in the drinking water supplied to the national capital as the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant has not been upgraded to treat water.
Haryana contended that Central Pollution Control Board had examined the water of river Yamuna on January 13, 2021 and it was found that Ammonia levels rose sharply from Delhi contact point at Palla to Wazirabad.
This, it claimed, was due to unauthorized discharges between Palla and Wazirabad and sediment deposition at Wazirabad Pond and therefore its upto DJB to control pollution at these points.
It was further submitted that as per Environmental Protection Rules, 1986, permissible limit of Ammonia in inland surface water is 50 PPM (mg/l) and as per WHO permissible limit of Ammonia in drinking water is 1.5 PPM (mg/l).
It contended that the drinking water supplied by authorities and treatment on its plants can have the Ammonia level upto 1.5 PPM.
“Whereas DJB instead of improving its capacity to treat the increased permissible limits of Ammonia in the river water raises hue and cry if the river water at Yamuna contains the Ammonia level of just above 0.88 PPM stating that the water treatment plant in Wazirabad cannot treat water which is above 0.8 PPM,” said the affidavit filed by Haryana.
When the matter was taken up for hearing on Monday by a Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appearing for the DJB submitted sought time to file a rejoinder to the affidavit.
The Court granted the same and posted the case for further hearing next week.
The DJB had approached the Supreme Court stating that Delhi is facing a potential severe water crisis due to high ammonia levels in the Yamuna and the continuously depleting water level at Wazirabad barrage, which supplies drinking water to the Wazirabad, Okhla and Chandrawal water treatment plants.
Haryana supplies water to Delhi through the Carrier-Lined Channel (CLC), Delhi Sub-Branch (DSB) and the Yamuna. The CLC and DSB supply water from Hathni Kund via Munak canal and Bhakra Beas Management Board.
On January 19, the top court had sought a report from a committee, set up by the NGT, regarding the recommendations made by the panel for improving the water quality of Yamuna River and the extent to which authorities have implemented them.
The National Green Tribunal had on July 26, 2018 constituted the monitoring committee comprising its former expert member B S Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra on the cleaning of Yamuna River and had directed it to submit an action plan in this regard.