Published: Monday 15 May 2000

Under the first phase of the Yamuna Action Plan, the National River Conservation Directorate has approved a Rs 23.69-crore scheme for checking the discharge of untreated effluents from Sonepat into the Yamuna river. This amount is part of the Rs 211.5 crore that was approved as the project's cost when the plan was first initiated in 1993 to control pollution in the Yamuna. The government has also sanctioned Rs 20.65 crore for the second phase of the project.

Official sources said that besides Sonepat, five other towns in Haryana have been covered by the scheme in phase one. They are Yamunanagar, Jagadhari, Karnal, Panipat, Gurgaon and Faridabad. In the second phase of the plan, six other small towns -- Raduar, Indri, Chichhrauli, Charaunda, Gohana and Palwal -- will be covered. Along with Haryana, government officials have also identified towns in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh that cause severe pollution in the Yamuna.

In Sonepat, sewer lines of various sizes have already been laid by the public health department and they cover a total length of 12,000 metres. Officials claim that interception and diversion of sewers will be completed by April-end. For treating the waste water, a sewage treatment plant has also been constructed at a cost of Rs 11.26 crore near Rathdhanna village. There are plans to make use of the treated water from the sewage treatment plant for irrigation purposes. Moreover, the sludge produced in the plant has high nutritional value for crops and plants.

At present, 50 per cent area of Sonepat have access to sewerage facilities while the number of sewer connections have also gone up to 8,000. However, the plant has been designed to treat only domestic waste water. For wastes generated by the neighbouring industries, the government has instructed the owners to treat their own waste water.

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