The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the pollution affecting Yamuna river and appointed Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora as Amicus Curiae in the matter.
The development came during the hearing of a plea by Delhi Jal Board against the State of Haryana alleging dumping of untreated discharge in Yamuna leading to spike in Ammonia levels in the river.
Meenakshi Arora, who was appearing on behalf of Delhi jal Board, argued that the increase in Ammonia level was making the water of Yamuna unfit for consumption and Ammonia mixing with other pollutants had potential to cause cancer.
The three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde proceeded to register a suo motu case to deal with the larger issue of pollution of Yamuna river and asked Arora to assist the Court as Amicus Curiae.
The plea by Delhi Jal Board said that increased ammonia levels have resulted in severe impairment of the functioning of the water treatment plants of the Jal Board to purify the water, and supply it as drinking water in Delhi.
“The plants, particularly those at Chandrawal, Wazirabad and Okhla, have often been forced to operate at only 50 percent capacity or lesser due to the extremely high ammonia levels in the water. This has repeatedly resulted in shortage of water and water crisis in the NCT of Delhi,” it was submitted.
The petition further said that on December 25, 2020, the Ammonia level in the waters of the Yamuna rose to an alarming 12 ppm and that it can “potentially lead to a complete cessation in the functioning of the water treatment plants of the DJB.”
Senior Advocate Arora argued that the sewage treatment plants installed by Haryana at different sites on the river were not working, thus, adding to the problem.
The Court issued notice to Harayana government on this plea while also deciding to examine the larger issue of pollution of Yamuna registering a suo motu case in this regard.