The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Principal Bench has recently directed the Chief Secretary, Delhi to look into the dispute between South Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Jal Board and resolve the same on higher administrative level in a plea for ensuring supply of treated water with adequate pressure and piped water supply in public parks through tankers.
The Bench comprising of Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, SK Singh and Dr. Nagin Nanda passed the order while dealing with an application filed by SDMC stating that the Corporation was maintaining a total of 6822 parks, responsibility of which lies on the Delhi Jal Board to ensure the treated water supply through pipes and tankers.
"We are of the view that inter se dispute of Municipal Corporation and the Jal Board can be better resolved at the higher level in the Administration, taking into account all practical considerations, including availability of funds and need for conserving scarce resource of drinking water, in accordance with the directions of this Tribunal already issued in the subject." The Tribunal observed.
The matter originates from an already decided application wherein the Tribunal vide order dated 27th January 2021, while approving the recommendations of Yamuna Monitoring Committee, sealed the irrigation in public parks by way of borewells in view of water conservation for drinking purposes and to encourage use of treated water for irrigation purpose.
In view of this, the Tribunal passed another order dated 25th February 2021 wherein the Delhi Jal Board was asked to ensure supply of such treated water with adequate pressure and by tankers wherever the piped supply was not available.
The Tribunal was however informed that the Delhi Jal Board was in the process of providing pipe network from sewage treatment plants to the parks but till such pipelines were laid, there was a need for supply of water by way of tankers and that it was the statutory responsibility of the DJB under the Jal Board Act, 1998 and not the SDMC to ensure the same.
Observing that the inter se dispute between the two parties can better be resolved at a higher level in the administration by looking into all the practical considerations involving funds and need for conserving scarce water resources, the Tribunal disposed of the application by observing thus:
"Accordingly, we dispose of the application by directing the Chief Secretary, Delhi to look into the matter and take appropriate decision in the matter, following due process of law."