New Delhi: The toxic froth that appeared floating on river Yamuna in Kalindi Kunj area in the national capital earlier this month was caused due to the huge amount of untreated sewage and detergent discharged into the river, environmentalists and activists have said.
Activists have also said that when untreated sewage is drained into the river and water falls from a height, it leads to churning in the river and frothing happens. Activists also claim that insufficient number of functional sewage treatment plants lead to such discharge of untreated sewage water into the river.
Vimlendu Jha, environmentalist and founder of Swechha, told The Sunday Guardian, “The discharge of untreated water into Yamuna is one of the main reasons for the pollution in the river. Over 3,500 million litres of sewage discharged into the Yamuna everyday are drained into the river and 75-80% of them are untreated.”
Environmentalist Manoj Mishra, who is the petitioner in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for the clean Yamuna campaign, told The Sunday Guardian that the high levels of phosphate in industrial effluents and household sewage contribute to frothing in the river.
“The foam which appears on the Yamuna is due to the high levels of phosphate in detergents. When water is dropped from a height, it is obvious that frothing will happen.”
According to the Yamuna Monitoring Committee’s report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), only one sewage treatment plant out of the 35 STPs is fully compliant with the parameters fixed by the state pollution committee in 2016.
On 1 November, Delhi woke up to the toxic froth floating on Yamuna in the Kalindi Kunj area. Similar scenes were witnessed on 12 November in the river.
After alarming levels froth appeared on Yamuna, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal convened a meeting with Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials on Wednesday and directed them to eliminate 90% pollution in the river. Delhi Jal Board presented a detailed action plan to reuse 400 MGD of treated water against the existing utilisation of 90 MGD of treated water.
This comes after a similar announcement to clean river Yamuna was made by Kejriwal in November 2016. The Delhi CM had then promised to clean Yamuna river and claimed that people would be able to drink from the river within 18 months