Heavy industrial effluents, urban waste put a question mark over River Yamuna’s future

Agra, Mar 21: The future of the River Yamuna remains uncertain as the authorities have failed to put a check on the flow of heavy industrial effluents and urban waste into it at different places.

The vice-president of the Chamber of Industries and Commerce in Agra, Rajiv Tiwari, told media here that the key reason for increased pollution is the entry of unchecked industry and domestic wastes into the river.

“The state authorities pay no heed to the rising pollution from industries. There are certain guidelines for industries to discharge water and effluents, but no one follows them and they go unchecked and go directly into River Yamuna. Drains also open up in Yamuna and the government is not taking note of the alarming situation,” said Tiwari.

He added that continuous contamination also poses a threat to the Taj Mahal that is situated on the banks of the river.

A temple priest, Pandit Kesi Bharadwaj, appealed to devotees to refrain from throwing religious offerings in the river.

“Devotees should refrain from throwing religious offerings, flowers, garlands or any other waste in the River Yamuna. There needs to be an awareness, as this continuous contamination causes diseases as well,” said Pandit Bharadwaj.

According to Central Pollution Control Board, around 70 percent of the pollution in the River Yamuna is human excrement and industrial effluents.

The government’s apathy towards the worsening condition of the river, has sparked off repeated public protests.

Earlier this week, thousands of people gathered to take part in a foot march, forcing the police to detain many of them as they sought to head towards parliament over a demand to restore the past glory of the River Yamuna.

The national capital alone produces 3.6 billion litres of sewage every day, but due to poor management, less than half of it is effectively treated.

The Yamuna Action Plan, launched in 1993 with the aim of conserving the river, has met with little success despite huge funds being spent on restoration projects.

While Yamuna fulfils 60 percent of New Delhi’s water needs, almost the same percentage of the city’s sewage finds its way into the river. (ANI)