The most polluted river Yamuna
January 7, 2014
by Ramandeep Kaur
Rivers in India are not just the water bodies but worshiped as God and Goddess and being revered as sacred. Despite such an esteem status, rivers are being polluted due to open sewage drains, lack of sufficient sewage treatment plants, soil erosion, and by dumping plastic garbage in river water etc. One such example where every cleaning effort has failed is that of the river Yamuna. The Yamuna River once had ‘clear blue’ water but now the river is one of the most polluted rivers in the world especially around New Delhi. The capital dumps 58% of its waste into the river. Pollutants are increasing at an alarming rate in the river water. Days are not far when Delhi homes will have polluted water than ever before. Presently 70% of Delhi is drinking treated water of the Yamuna River.
Delhi is producing 1,900 million litre per day (MLD) of sewage but Delhi Jal Board (DJB) responsible for managing sewage is collecting and treating only 54 per cent of the total sewage generated in the city. Moreover the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has found out that 15 out of 32 sewage treatment plants are working below their capacities. This is polluting the river Yamuna at much faster pace than ever. Moreover increase in urban population is also increasing the pollution in the river. At the same time, underground water in Delhi and cities along the Yamuna is getting polluted due to water pollution. The Yamuna River has also been regarded as “sewage drain” by one of the officials.
Why Yamuna is Most Polluted River?
The Yamuna has five segments – Himalayan Segment (from origin to Tajewala Barrage 172 km), Upper Segment (Tajewala Barrage to Wazirabad Barrage 224 km), Delhi Segment (Wazirabad Barrage to Okhla Barrage 22 km), Eutriphicated segment (Okhla Barrage to Chambal Confluence 490 kms), and Diluted segment (Chambal Confluence to Ganga Confluence 468 kms).The Yamuna is the most polluted in its Delhi Segment. The River Yamuna enters Delhi from Palla village. 22 drains fall into the Yamuna. Out of these, 18 drains fall directly into river and 4 through Agra and Gurgaon canal.
Lack of sufficient number of sewage treatment plants has led to the increase in the polluted stretch of the Yamuna. Earlier the most polluted stretch of Yamuna was located between Wazirabad in Delhi to Etawah in Uttar Pradesh. Recently the polluted stretch has increased and shifted its starting point to Panipat, Haryana. So 100 Km of polluted stretch has been added.
In the last two decades more than Rs 6,500 crore has been spent to clean the Yamuna. But in its latest report, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has stated that polluted stretch of Yamuna has increased from 500 km to 600 km.
To support aquatic life, water should have 4.0 mg/ l dissolved Oxygen. Its range in the Yamuna from Wazirabad Barrage in Delhi to Agra is 0.0 mg/ l and 3.7 mg/ l.
Water pollution is measured by measuring its biochemical oxygen demand BOD) levels and the permissible range is 3 mg/ l or less. Whereas the most polluted stretch of the Yamuna has 14 – 28 mg/ l BOD concentration. BOD is increasing because there are numerous untreated sewage drains which dump drains to the river.
Stretch of the Yamuna between Nizamuddin Bridge and Agra has high level of toxic ammonia.
Stretch between Panipat and Agra has high level of Coliform bacteria.
Three barrages i.e. Wazirabad barrage, ITO Barrage and Okhla Barrage regulate the flow of River Yamuna in Delhi.
Some steps to clean River Yamuna
Installation of Sewage Treatment Plants (STP), Installation of Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP), Installation of Common Effluent Treatment Plants, Yamuna Action Plan, Environmental Awareness Campaign are few of the initiatives taken by the Delhi Government to clean the Yamuna. Apart from this water is checked regularly for its quality.
Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) – Yamuna Action Plan is for cleaning the Yamuna. Since 1993 Japan International Cooperation Agency, Government of Japan is assisting the Government of India to clean the Yamuna in phases. 39 sewage treatment plants in 29 towns of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi were built in phase I of the plan. Near about Rs1,500 crore has been spent under Yamuna Action Plan I and II.
But every goal of cleaning the Yamuna has not worked so far and the river is still polluted. Most of the sewage treatment facilities are either underfunded or not functioning properly. Moreover river gets fresh water only during the rainy season and for about nine months the water is almost stagnant. This further deteriorates the condition. Hundreds of crores of rupees have been spent without any result. Corrupt administration and attitude of people are enough to disguise the cleaning programmes. We as an individual will have to take the responsibility of not throwing anything in the river for the sake of rituals. Laws should be more stringent and money should be used for which it is allocated rather than filling the pockets.
River Pollution in India
Water Pollution in River Yamuna
- :: 8 Works Cited
- Length: 2775 words (7.9 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The 14th of December 2013(Saturday) was the day when this fieldtrip was organised .it was a pleasant day, our whole class of grade 10 evm students (25 students) got ready and we head out for wazirabad Delhi. We had decided to go to three places and collect water samples so that we could conduct different tests on samples such as:
1. Ph. value test
2. BOD level
3. Coliform level
To see how polluted river Yamuna gets ,as it passes different destinations in the nation capital region, but ended up going to only two places as we were running short of time.one of two place where we visited had water going downstream and at the other place water was pretty still. We collected water samples from both the destination and then brought them to our school to do test mentioned above that would help us in finding out the ongoing pollution in the river and the state of the river Yamuna.
River Yamuna, with a total length of around 1,370 kilometres (851 mi), is the largest tributary of the Ganges River Ganga in northern India. Yamuna is considered the most sacred among all the rivers as per Hindu mythology. Its source is at Yamunotri, in the Uttrakhand Himalaya, In the Himalayan Mountains. It flows through the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, before merging with the Ganges at Allahabad. The cities of Delhi, Mathura and Agra lie on its banks. Originating in the Yamunotri glacier in the Himalayas, Yamuna covers a distance of over 1,300 km, before merging with the Ganga in Allahabad.
Yamuna is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, especially around Delhi, the capital of India which dumps about 57% of its waste into the river. Delhi alone contributes around 3,296 million litres per day of sewage in the river. NO ONECOULD REFRAIN FROM SAYING THAT "IT IS NO MORE A MAILI YAMUNA BUT A GANDA NALLAH."
SOURCE OF YAMUNA
The main stream of the river Yamuna originated from the Yamunotri glacier near Bandar Punch in the Mussorie range of lower Himalayas in the district of Uttar Kashi in Uttarakhand. Some say the source of the river is the Saptarishi Kund, a glacial lake. There is a sacred shrine of Yamunotri or Yamnotri, near this source at an altitude of 3235 m. There is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, which remains closed from November to May. At Hanumanchatti, the Hanuman Ganga merges with Yamuna River.
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According to a legend, this secluded hilly spot was the home of an ancient sage, Asit Muni.
HISTORY OF THE RIVER
According to the ancient Indian scriptures Yamuna was the daughter of the Sun God called Surya, sister of Yama (the God of death). River Yamuna is deeply connected with the Lord Krishna's birth. After his birth his father Vashudeva crossed the River Yamuna carrying him in the bucket. When Lord Krishna fell into the water, Yamuna once again became sanctified with the dust of his lotus feet. There are lot more stories connected with the River Yamuna in India. Yamuna is more sacred than even Ganges or any other river on earth.
One of the Lifeline Rivers of India is Yamuna. Yamuna is considered sacred as Sri Krishna played and gargled into this river. This river is closely associated with Child Sri Krishna's plays. The river Yamuna served the Lord and got its sanctity.
Yamuna gave way for Vasudeva to carry the Child Sri Krishna from Kansa's palace and cross over to Gokulam. It served the Lord and so is considered pious. Lord Krishna grew up on the banks of Yamuna these are the some of the places which are famous and one should visit when they go for yamuna trip
1) In Brahmanda ghat, Sri Krishna showed entire Universe in His mouth, to Yasoda!
2) In Kesi ghat, Sri Krishna killed Kesi, who had come in the guise of a horse.
3)Sheer ghat - Krishna stole the clothes of Gopis
4) Vishram ghat - Krishna took rest after killing Kansa
5) Ram ghat - Balram chaged course of river to take bath
6) Kaliya ghat - Krishna performed kaliya mardan dance on the serpent's head
7) Samyamana theertha - Vasudeva took Krishna to Gokul
8) Akrura ghat - Krishna gave dharshan to Akrura inside Yamuna waters
RELIGIOUS IMPORTANCE OF RIVER
Yamuna also known as jamuna in India is regarded as Goddess in India. Many people in India call it jamuna Mata and worship it. There are many festivals celebrated on the Yamuna River. Some sat that the source of the river Yamuna is the glacier lake called the Saptarishi Kund. There is also a sacred shrine of Yamunotri near this source. Every year thousands of pilgrims gather at the temple dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna. Yamuna River finds mention in the great Indian epic Mahabharata and Ramayana.
According to the legends, by taking a dip in its water one can be freed from all the past sins of his life, as it is the same place where Lord Krishna used to play during his childhood. There is popular belief among the Hindus in India, according to which one who take bath in its water do not fear death.
RIVER YAMUNA IN DELHI
• RIVER YAMUNA ENTERS DELHI FROM PALLA VILLAGE
• LENGTH: 48 KM
•WIDTH: 1.5KM TO 3.0 KM
• FLOODPLAIN AREA: 97 SQ. KM
• POLLUTED STRETCH WITHIN CITY: 22 KM
(FROM WAZIRABAD TO OKHLA)
• NUMBER DRAINS FALLING INTO YAMUNA: 22
(18 MAJOR DRAINS FALL DIRECTLY INTO RIVER
AND 4 THROUGH AGRA AND GURGAON CANAL)
• CATERS FOR 70 % OF DELHI‛S WATER SUPPLIES
Sunset on the bank of Yamuna
FACTS ABOUT POLLUTION IN YAMUNA
• ABOUT 70% OF YAMUNA POLLUTION IS HUMAN EXCRETE
• 3.8 BILLION LITRES OF SEWAGE IS GENARATED BY DELHI EVERYDAY
• LESS THAN 50% OF THIS SEWAGE IS TREATED BUT THE REST GOES IN YAMUNA AS IT IS
• 57 MILLION PEOPLE DEPEND ON YAMUNA
• 42 IN DELHI THIS IS THE NUBER OF INDUSTRIL UNITS THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS DIRECTLY DISCHARGING AND POLLUTING RIVER YAMUNA
• THE CHEMICAL RELEASED IN THE RIVER IS THE CAUSE FOR FISHES DYING IN SUCH BIG NUMBER
• CENTAL POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD DECLARED THAT THIS RIVER IS ALREADY IN PATHENTIC CONDITIONS AND NOT FIT FOR ENEN DRINKINGAFTER TREATMENT AND DISINFECTION
• AGRICULTURAL POLLUTION IS CONTRIBUTED BY THESE MAJOR RESOURCES – CATTLE , AGRICULTURAL RESIDUE , FERTILIZER AND PESTICIDE USE
WHERE DOES THE RIVER YAMUNA GET POLLUTED IN DELHI?
River Yamuna enters Delhi, first thing that happens is that they take clean water for drinking and for housing purposes like washing, cooking, bathing etc. Then the next is the Wazirabad barrage where we went to collect water sample. Next, there is a major drain at Najafgarh which has been treated at different treatment plants after that there are around 9 drain which come in Yamuna untreated, then there is another barrage near the ITO after the ITO barrage there is a drain from a sewage treatment plant. Then follows three more untreated drains leading to Hindon cut canal next, there is another drain again untreated. Following the untreated drain is the Okhla barrage and two other drains and the river enters Uttar Pradesh from there. As you can see there are so many untreated drains, this roots the pollution in Yamuna.
CAUSES BEHIND POLLUTION OF YAMUNA
CAN RIVER YAMUNA FULFIL THE NEEDS OF DELHI?
The graph above shows the demand and suppy of river yamuna as water throughout Delhi by seeing this graph we get to know that the demand of water in Delhi is 830 million gallons per day ,but the supply we can get is only 650 which is only 78% of the water that is needed but after that due to poor transportation and bad quality of pipes there is leakage that take place in which we lose 190 million gallon water per day which is 29 % of the water that we get but in the end we get 460 million gallons of water per day . so in the end we get 55% of the water which is needed due to the gap in demand and supply the water gets expensive and all the rich people buy that expensive water and the poor people who cannot afford this water they drink water directly from yamuna which makes them suffer and die from diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
I conducted a questionnaire to ask people living near Yamuna what has happened to river Yamuna over the years and find as much I can abut he on-going pollution in the holy river Yamuna here is the questionnaire that I did :-
1. Name: Ramunagar
2. Age: 64 year
3. Occupation: railways guard man
4. Area: Wazirabad
5. Any water related diseases affected: yes
6. If yes, what? : itching in body
7. During which month the river gets more polluted? Every two month there is red water release from a leather factory in Katha gaon
8. What type of substances/pollutants do you usually collect from the river? –polybags/wrappers/ash etc.
9. Do visitors pollute? Yes/No= yes
10. Has there been any major change in the climatic patterns in the past few years? More rain
11. If yes, how?
a. Change in Rainfall – yes -increase
b. Cooler or Warmer – warmer
c. Is the government taking any initiative to sustain the quality of the air or river? No initiative in last 40 years
12. If yes, what? ---
13. Has there been any case of water borne diseases in your family? Yes= Dengue
14. How has been the livestock affected by pollution in this area? Yes, because of pollution there are very less aquatic animals left. All the fishes died.
15. Are there any awareness campaigns being held in this area? Yes it happens for like two days some people come and pretend to work but thy actually do nothing
16. Do you think keeping the river Yamuna clean is your responsibility too? How will you do it?
17. Do municipal department take any actions about the pollution in the river? No
18. Do you know about “Save Yamuna Campaign”? : No
ANALYSIS OF DATA
PH value in Yamuna
a measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution that is a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutrality and lower numbers indicate increasing acidity and higher numbers increasing alkalinity and on which each unit of change represents a tenfold change in acidity or alkalinity and that is the negative logarithm of the effective hydrogen-ion concentration or hydrogen-ion activity in gram equivalents per litre of the solution; also: the condition represented by a pH number
Year Ph. Value
The Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Biochemical oxygen demand or B.O.D is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms in a body of water to break down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period. The term also refers to a chemical procedure for determining this amount. This is not a precise quantitative test, although it is widely used as an indication of the organic quality of water. The BOD value is most commonly expressed in milligrams of oxygen consumed per litre of sample during 5 days of incubation at 20 °C and is often used as a robust surrogate of the degree of organic pollution of water.
B.O.D. level in Yamuna
Year BOD value
Coliform Level in River Yamuna
The coliform level of the river during 2007 Jan. – July 2011 was obtained from the CPCB website. The permissible level for bathing is 500 maximum permissible level/100 millilitres (500 mph/100ml). This graph shows how the coliform level of the river at Okhla is millions more than the permissible level.
Year Total Coliform Bacteria
Experience of the trip
River Yamuna is the holiest river on the planet earth .it is situated in Delhi .it was one of the best tourist attraction on India. But I last two decades the pollution in river Yamuna escalated so much that India had to take loans from different countries to clean the river Yamuna. I went to see the quality of river Yamuna on 14 December 2013 .I visited that place with around 25 people of my class we went there by bus. It took us around 2 hours to reach the Wazirabad barrage from our school. Then we went to the bank of river Yamuna to collect water samples and ask the local people to fill questionnaires
After we were done doing everything we headed out to go for the second location which was the river Yamuna after the Najafgarh drain has been left in the Yamuna so we vent there and saw the Yamuna was really dirty we were collecting water samples
the biggest problem that we faced was traffic jam it took us around 3 hr. to reach Wazirabad and around 2 more hours to reach Najafgarh our plan was to go to 3 different places but due to shortage of time and time wasted in traffic jams we ended up going to only two places
Personal ways to stop pollution
We need to do extensive plantation on yamuna, make sure that sewer flows into yamuna only after treatment, Bann the immersion of idols made up of pop in yamuna, and create awareness by making banners, charts and hooding on the road
PLANS MADE BY GOVERNMENT TO KEEP RIVER YAMUNA CLEAN
A few years back when the pollution level of Yamuna increased alarmingly, the Delhi government woke up. A number of projects were launched by the government to clean the Yamuna, but till date nothing has happened. Yamuna Action Plan has not given desired results because it is not in accordance with the Master Plan for Delhi-2021. Few years back Delhi Govt. entered into agreement with Engineers India Limited to clean Yamuna. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) proposed laying down sewers along the three major drains — Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahadra drains and also make 15 sewage treatment plants functional to prevent the waste from going into this holy river. Recently DJB accepts before the court that some lapses are have gone in past regarding cleaning of river and we all knows that most sewage treatment plants are malfunctioning or don’t have sufficient maintenance and manpower due to corruption and lack of administration. Delhi Gov. said that it will be not able to clean the Yamuna before 2020 but government had not considered to work 24 x 7 x 365 to clean the river. If cleaning work goes 24 x 7 x 365 the Holy River will be definitely clean before the end of 2014
It's been two decades and more than Rs 1,500 crore has been spent on cleaning the polluted Yamuna River. By now, the Yamuna water - polluted and black - should have been sparkling clean, but it seems more effort is needed. In a fresh effort to clean the polluted river, the Delhi government is planning to build a canal parallel to the Yamuna which will not allow any sewage to flow into it.Industrial effluents are among the biggest polluters of the Yamuna River in Delh.All the untreated sewage flowing into the river will be discharged into the canal in future. The canal will be built alongside the Yamuna between Wazirabad and Okhla.
There is an image of this proposed canal on the next page
YAMUNA ACTION PLAN
Yamuna action plan 1
The main activities under YAP I focused upon improvising the collection and treatment of wastewater I.e. Capacity building exercises. According to a report by World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) India, ‘Haryana fared better than U.P. as infrastructure work has been completed and is working well, with Plants having insufficient sewage to treat. Treated effluents are discarded into drains or canals and Biogas utilization is poor. In both states improved wood-based crematoria haven’t taken off which were Intended to reduce the wood use and time taken by half. In Delhi, the plan’s outcome is yet invisible, Even after so much money has gone into it. The sewerage component of Delhi was under-estimated and the STP capacity created by the city Government concurrently with YAP remains under-utilized to the extent of 25-45%. This is due to Limitations of the collection system resulting in the flow of untreated sewage into the river. Similarly, Stps in other reaches were under-utilized due to a combination of limitations in the collection system and power availability. YAP-I did not adequately addressed non-point sources of pollution. Moreover, Indian wastewater discharge standards did not mandate STP effluents to comply the Coliform reduction. Therefore, stps did not include disinfection treatment. Sewage treatment capacity under YAP-I were Formulated for 1997 population loads without considering any population projection. For example, YAP-I Was able to create 3.5 million Population Equivalent (PE) of net STP capacity in 14 towns in Haryana and U.P. However, by 2002, the total population of these towns was close to 6.7 million creating a shortfall Of 3.2 million PE
Yamuna action plan 2
Physical Work: Okhla STP; Keshopur STP; Bela Road Trunk Sewer; Wazirabad Road Trunk Sewer; Ring Road Trunk Sewer Preparation of Master Plan (M/P), Feasibility Study (F/S), Detailed Project Report (DPR) for YAP-III: Decentralized Wastewater Treatment for Water bodies (including Pilot Project); Dairy Farm Waste Management (including Pilot Project); Dhobighat Sudhar Yojna (including Pilot Project); Slaughterhouse Modernisation and Waste Management; Antim Niwas Sudhar Yojna (including Pilot Project); Slum Rehabilitation Study Public Participation & Awareness (PP&A); Public Relations (PR); Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building of MCD; Public Participation & Awareness (PP&A); Public Relations (PR); Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building of MCD
• Uttar Pradesh
Physical Works Implementation: Sewerage Works (Sewers, Sewage Pumping Stations, Rising Mains, STPs) in Northern & Western zones at Agra ; Preparation of Master Plan (M/P), Feasibility Study (F/S), Detailed Project Report (DPR) for YAP- III (8 towns) Public Participation & Awareness (PP&A) Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building of 7 ULBs and Noida Authority
Engineering Technology Transfer (ETT) to ULBs (6 towns) Preparation of Master Plan (M/P), Feasibility Study (F/S), Detailed Project Report (DPR) for YAP- III (8 towns) Public Participation & Awareness (PP&A) Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building of 6 ULBs
• CAPACITY BUILDING OF NRCD
MIS, Accounting & state-of-art equipment’s etc. Water Quality Monitoring Programme