Less than two percent of Yamuna river accounts for 76 percent of pollution level, reports monitoring committee

The committee has also recommended a mechanism to be worked out jointly with DPCC and CPCB to install an online system for quality testing of water in Yamuna at Palla and Wazirabad.

Press Trust of India December 09, 2018 23:08:51 IST
Less than two percent of Yamuna river accounts for 76 percent of pollution level, reports monitoring committee

New Delhi: A small stretch of less than two percent of the Yamuna accounts for 76 percent of the river's pollution, according to a monitoring committee overseeing its cleaning.

The committee has further said that the river is "fighting to stay alive" and it would not be possible to rejuvenate the Yamuna unless minimum environmental flow is provided as it is "virtually reduced to a trickle and remains dry in some stretches for almost nine months of the year".

National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice AK Goel had in July formed the monitoring committee comprising retired expert member BS Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra and directed them to the submit an action plan and detailed report on cleaning of the river by 31 December. The committee has submitted the details to the Delhi government.

Less than two percent of Yamuna river accounts for 76 percent of pollution level reports monitoring committee

Representational image. Reuters

In the action plan, a copy of which has been accessed by PTI, it is mentioned that "Although the Yamuna river flows only for 54 kilometres from Palla to Badarpur through Delhi, the 22 kilometre stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla, which is less than 2 percent of the river length of 1370 kilometres from Yamunotri to Allahabad, accounts for about 76 percent of the pollution level in the river".

This 2 percent stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla sees maximum discharge of untreated industrial and domestic wastes.

The committee has suggested that a team of scientists be formed from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and other institutions like IIT Delhi or NEERI to carry out inspections and submit reports to it for remedial action.

"The team can look into the risks and benefits of an alternative way of routing the same quantity of water which can help in reducing the pollution level" it said.

The committee has also recommended a mechanism to be worked out jointly with DPCC and CPCB to install an online system for quality testing of water in Yamuna at Palla and Wazirabad.

"Not only standard parameters would be included but also ammonia because this is brought up as a recurrent problem which impacts drinking water supply to Delhi," it said.

The monitoring committee also raised objection to the capacity utilisation of common effluent treatment plant (CETP) which is as low as 25 percent. There are 28 industrial clusters in Delhi and 17 of these are connected to 13 CETPs. The remaining 11 clusters are not connected to any CETP.

Another area of concern is the direct discharge of completely unregulated waste from industries and residences into the river. "The industrial pollutants when mixed with domestic sewage are not amendable to treatment even by the STPs due to limitation of treatment technology," the committee rued.

Environmental experts have raised concern over the report of the committee, calling it a matter of great shame and regret for Delhiites. "This reflects very poorly on Delhi. It is a matter of great shame and regret for Delhiites. The condition of Yamuna could be bettered by improvement in the flow which is the only way through which it can be rejuvenated," said environmentalist Manoj Misra.

Another environmentalist Fayaz Khudsar suggested that building of constructive wetlands is a must for saving the Yamuna. "The only way to save Yamuna is through building of constructive wetlands to mitigate pollution and using sewage treatment without energy consumption," said Khudsar, scientist in-charge of the Yamuna biodiversity park.

"All sewage going directly to river causes massive pollution but if the sewage passes through aquatic plants and then to the river then pollution can be reduced. It needs to be understood that a city of this size cannot be devoid of pollution and sewage needs to be treated at source," he added.

Updated Date:

also read

Punjab government makes it mandatory for brick kilns to use paddy straw as 20% of fuel to mitigate air pollution
India

Punjab government makes it mandatory for brick kilns to use paddy straw as 20% of fuel to mitigate air pollution

Brick kiln owners have been given six months to ensure 20 per cent of the fuel is paddy straw pellets. Action will be taken against those who do not implement it after 1 May next year

How many Shraddhas: Young woman's body found stuffed in suitcase along Yamuna Expressway near Mathura
India

How many Shraddhas: Young woman's body found stuffed in suitcase along Yamuna Expressway near Mathura

A red coloured trolley suitcase was lying unattended on the service lane adjacent to Yamuna Expressway near the Krishi Anusandhan Kendra

Delhi air pollution: Govt may lift ban on plying of BS-III petrol, BS-IV diesel 4-wheelers; meeting today
India

Delhi air pollution: Govt may lift ban on plying of BS-III petrol, BS-IV diesel 4-wheelers; meeting today

The restrictions were in place till 13 November and they have not been extended yet.The AQI has been stable in the last four days in the city