The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has expressed its inability before the National Green Tribunal to constitute a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for rejuvenation of the Yamuna River. The DDA told the tribunal that there were legal impediments in creating a separate legal entity under the Delhi Development Act, 1957 as SPV.
The NGT in March had directed that DDA may constitute a special purpose vehicle within two weeks for rejuvenation of the Yamuna River.
The DDA said the word "may" was used by this tribunal in its order since it considered it appropriate that taking into account all the attendant circumstances DDA should consider the option whether or not to constitute an SPV.
"In light of the provisions of DDA Act, it is submitted that as per section 52 of the Act, DDA may delegate powers exercisable by only to officers, local authority or committees. There is no enabling provision under the Act to either constitute a society or a special purpose vehicle or to delegate its powers to an entity or other person not specifically mentioned in section 52 of the Act.
"It is submitted that since DDA has been created under DDA Act, it cannot operate beyond the limits set by the said Act. It shall not be out of place to mention here that already a mechanism is in place in order to monitor the Yamuna. This includes Upper Yamuna River Board and Unified Centre for Restoration and rejuvenation of River Yamuna," DDA said its report filed in the NGT.
The DDA said that the function of Upper Yamuna River Board includes the regulations of supply of water from old storages, barrages and maintenance of minimum flow through the year from ecological consideration and monitoring the return flows from water from Yamuna by different states.
The report filed through advocate Kush Sharma, said in view of the statutory provisions, DDA may not be in a position to establish an SPV as contemplated.
"It is prayed that the present report may be taken on record and the submissions of DDA regarding the statutory prohibition on the creation of an SPV be kindly considered," it said.
The green panel had directed the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments to take expeditious action on sewage management, industrial pollutants and solid waste being discharged into the river.
The NGT had said the functions of the special purpose vehicle will include ecological restoration of flood plain zones, setting up of bio-diversity parks, artificial wetlands, phytoremediation of drains at the river mouth locations, maintaining vigil and undertaking flow measurement, creating ecological services, removing encroachments and undertaking other activities, including river front development.