A few days of shutdown has achieved what years of preparation and massive budgets could not do.
Stretches of the Yamuna which had become picture postcards for Delhi’s pollution, showing the toxic foam — by-product of industrial effluent — were seen in sparkling blue colour on Saturday.
Sparkling Blue colour replaced the black layer of Yamuna River. A rotting river’s stench had receded, too. Industry shutdown during 21-days lock down has made all the difference. Although this relief is temporary, but if we take lesson – it holds hope for the future.
However the river’s human attack has not ended. Sewage from residential colonies that are not connected to sewage treatment plants keeps flowing into it. Nonetheless, experts suggest now is the perfect time to calculate the levels of pollution in the river in order to enable the agencies to draw up a plan for future action against industrial contaminants.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) says it will soon be undertaking a report to examine the water quality improvements. “We are in the preparation process, and samples are likely to be obtained. We have already studied the air quality effect of the lockdown and something similar is going to be done for the Yamuna, “said CPCB member secretary Prashant Gargava.
The NGT-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee has also recommended that both CPCB and DPCC conduct a report. “It will provide the organizations with a reasonable basis to act. The Hindon River shows similar signs and we are now seeing these clean Yamuna photos, which shows how dangerous industrial contaminants are for the water, “said Manoj Mishra, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan’s convener.
In the long run, aquatic life in Yamuna may benefit: Expert
Mishra, who has lodged many petitions on the river’s contaminated water in NGT, says this will benefit the long-term aquatic life. “Surely an extended time such as this will help marine life survive in the river. There shouldn’t be much of an impact at present though. On the Yamuna floodplains we are already seeing an increase in terrestrial life, including the presence of more birds along the range, “Mishra says.
Although the river flows only for 54 kilometers from Palla to Badarpur via Delhi, a 22-kilometer stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla which is less than 2 percent of the river’s total length — 1,370 kilometers from Yamunotri to Allahabad — accounts for about 76 percent of the river’s pollution, YMC estimated last year.
Alone Delhi has over 30 000 units in conforming areas while there is no official estimate for non-conforming industries. Last year, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. had fined 910 factories gpt ttoxic effluents directly into drains, which ultimately end up in the Yamuna. Connecting industries to a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) is needed. There are 28 industrial clusters in Delhi, out of which 17 are connected to 13 CETPs. The remaining 11 clusters are not connected to any such plant, YMC had said in a December 2018 report.
A study from the Delhi Jal Board shows that out of 748 MGD of sewage produced in Delhi, only 490 MGD are handled and more than 250 MGD are untreated daily in the Yamuna. Although the Interceptor Sewage Project (ISP) can fix this, it has already missed a range of deadlines, the latest being December 2019.
People r reporting how the quality of Yamuna river has improved in past few days due 2 lockdown henceforth less pollution.Unfortunately reality is altered.Yamuna continues 2 b polluted as before & it needs to get rid of toxic foam on its surface.Picture on right was clicked today pic.twitter.com/Wx5w9zIy1z
— Ajatika Singh (@Ajatikaa) April 5, 2020
Unbelievable & Surreal is The Word.
Pic2: After #21dayslockdownIndia*
This is #Yamuna river (the black river ) of #Delhi, near Kalindi Kunj, Noida. Same Place & What a Transformation.🏞🌊 #StayHomeIndia
Pics via twitter. pic.twitter.com/zz0SoJH4Rk
— Kumar Manish #StayAtHome 🏡 (@kumarmanish9) April 5, 2020
These are 2 images of the same location, Yamuna at Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi, one is from ‘normal’ times and the other during Corona lockdown. Our ‘Industry and Environment Clearance’ Minister @PrakashJavdekar should have a look. pic.twitter.com/8KKjb2r4n5
— Vimlendu Jha (@vimlendu) April 5, 2020
The Yamuna. No effluents. Blue waters only. pic.twitter.com/y5vhh0fNST
— Andaaz (@Andaaz13) April 4, 2020