Introduction and map of Yamuna
Source of Yamuna River
Yamuna River in plains
Pollution in Yamuna River
Yamuna action plan (YAP)
Tributaries of Yamuna
Yamuna in Hindu religion
Lesson from river Thames
Yamuna after immersed idols
Yamuna in Dehli
Yamuna in Agra
Yamuna no better than drain
Future of Yamuna?
Google map Yamuna
Introduction and map of Yamuna
River Yamuna (यमुना), with a total length of around 1,370 kilometers (851 mi), is the largest tributary of the Ganges
River Ganga गगां in northern India. Yamuna is considered the most sacred among all the rivers as per Hindu mythology.
Its source is at Yamunotri, in the Uttarakhand 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. Even the the Supreme Court Justice B.S. hauhan, sitting in a bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G.
Balakrishnan could not refrain from observing that "it is no more a maili Yamuna but a ganda nullah."
Yamunotri is the source of the revered river Yamuna. It constitutes one of the four most important pilgrimages, collectively called 'Char
Dham' of the Garhwal Himalayas or Uttarakhand.
Admitting that Yamuna in the Capital has
become no good that a sewer as there is no inflow of water from upper riparian States and only
polluted water from 22 drains were flowing into it, Environment and Forest Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said in Parliament on March 13,
2008 She said a high-level committee constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would soon meet to discuss steps to
ensure flow of water into Yamuna from neighbouring States.
National Green Tribunal directs authorities to demolish
illegal structures on Yamuna
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed authorities to
demolish all unauthorised structures erected on the river bed and flood plains of Yamuna in Haryana, Delhi and UP
Temple of Goddess Yamuna
The temple of Goddess Yamuna was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century.
Map of River Yamuna (यमुना) from Yamunotri to Allahabad where it merges with Ganga at Allahabad.
Source of Yamuna River
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. According to a legend, this secluded hilly
spot was the home of an ancient sage, Asit Muni.
Yamuna River in plains
The main stream of the river Yamuna originated from the Yamunotri glacier
of Uttar Kashi in Uttarakhand. The Tons and Giri rivers are the important tributaries of Yamuna and principal source of water in
mountaineous range. The river Yamuna traverse a route length of about 1200 km in the plain from Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh to the confluence with river Ganga at Allahabad.
Yamuna River originally traverses south and then southeast and hence running parallel to and just west of the Ganges.
The main tributaries joining in this reach include the Hindon from eastern bank and the Chambal, the Sind, Betwa and the Ken from south-western bank. The
catchments of the Yamuna river system covers parts of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal
Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the entire state of Delhi. Each one of these major tributaries in turn have its own tributary system.
The River Giri with its tributaries Ashwani and Kawal Khad and the Gambhar with its main tributary Baliana are the main rivers
in the eastern and western part of the Solan district. The River Tons meets river Yamuna at Dakpathar in
U.P. River Hindon originates from Upstream of Saharanpur in U.P. and meets River Yamuna downstream Delhi at Mazawali, Haryana.
River Chambal is most important tributaries occupying nearly half of the basin area of
Yamuna. River Chambal originates from Bar Nagar (M.P.) and joins River Yamuna after Udi (U.P.) at Juhikha (U.P.). From its origin onwards tributaries,
Khan and Kshipra join river Chambal before Nagada (M.P.). Another main tributary of River Chambal is Kalisindh which gets additional water from tributary Parwan at Kota
River Betwa originates from the upstream of Mandideep (Bhopal,
M.P.) and joins River Yamuna at the down stream of Hamirpur (M.P.). River Mandakini and Ken are the
last tributaries of river Yamuna before it joins river Ganga.
Pollution in Yamuna River
The Yamuna river passing through 22 km in Delhi was once described as the lifeline of the
city, but today it has become one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. The reason:
Yamuna action plan (YAP)
* Delhi generates about 3,267 million litres per day (mld) of sewage while the
city's installed waste water treatment capacity is only 2,330 mld. More than 937 mld of waste is not treated.
Out of Delhi's 2,330 mld treatment capacity, 37 per cent is under-utilised and 1,270 mld of sewage is untreated and allowed to enter the river everyday.
* The Yamuna’s 22-km stretch in Delhi is barely 2 per cent of the length of the river, but contributes over 70 per cent of the pollution load.
* Pollution levels in the Yamuna have risen. Biochemical oxygen demand
(BOD) load has increased by 2.5 times between 1980 and 2005 - from 117 tonnes per day (TPD) in 1980 to 276 TPD in 2005.
* Delhi discharges about 3,684 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage into the Yamuna.
* The faecal coliform count, which indicates the presence of disease causing
micro- organisms, is nearly 25,000 times more than the limit prescribed for bathing.
* Delhi and Agra together account for 90 per cent of the pollution in the river.
* There are 17 drains entering Yamuna in Delhi and almost 3,500 million liter of waste water enters Yamuna everyday without any treatment.
* The Najafgarh drain contributes to 60% of the total wastewater and 45 per cent of the total BOD load being
discharged from Delhi into the Yamuna. The municipal wastewater has increased from 960 MLD in 1977 to 1,900 MLD in 1997.
* The capacity for treatment -increased from 450 MLD in 1977 to 1,270 MLD in 1997.
* A Central Pollution Control Board study on river water quality at the upstream of Wazirabad shows dissolved oxygen (DO) level at 7.5 mg/l and BOD level at 2.3 mg/l.
* At downstream Okhla, the DO level declined to 1.3 mg/l with the BOD at 16
mg/l, indicating considerable deterioration in water quality due to discharge of sewage and industrial effluents.
* The coliform count at Wazirabad is 8,506/100 ml whereas at Okhla, it increases to 3,29,312/100 ml
Sources: White Paper by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Centre for Science and Environment
The Supreme Court has been monitoring the cleaning of Yamuna
On March 8, 2011 The Supreme Court sought to know the level of pollution in the river
Yamuna and directed the Central Pollution Control Board to file a report
within two weeks after examining the sample of its water. A three Judge bench headed by the Chief Justice S H Kapadia asked the pollution board to take three water samples near severage plant and file the report on pollution level.
"Court wants to know the level of pollution in the river. Centre Pollution Control Board would file the report with regard to pollution
level within two weeks," the bench said asking the Board to examine the water pollution. The Court passed the order in a case which it had taken suo-moto
cognizance way back in December 1994 on the basis of news report on the level of pollution in Yamuna. The apex court since then has been monitoring the cleaning of
Yamuna. When the apex court had pulled up the authority on January 30, 2008 and wanted to know if the river could be cleaned before 2010 Commonwealth
Games, the Delhi Jal Board had said the cleaning project would be completed by January 2012.
To supplement the efforts of State Governments in addressing the problem
of pollution of river Yamuna, Government of India is implementing Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) with assistance from Japan International Cooperation
Agency, Government of Japan in a phased manner since 1993.
Yamuna Action Plan (YAP -1): YAP-I, which commenced in April, 1993 was completed in February 2003 at a total cost of Rs. 682 crore covering
various pollution abatement works, including creation of Sewage Treatment capacity of 753.25 million litres per day (mld).
Yamuna Action Plan (YAP -II): YAP-II was approved in 2003 at an estimated cost of Rs. 624 crores
with a completion period of 5 years. The major items of work in YAP
-II such as rehabilitation of sewerage network and Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and construction of new STPs.
Yamuna Action Plan (YAP -III): Further, under YAP-III project for Delhi with an estimated cost of
Rs.1656 crores has been approved in 2011. The above information was given by the Minister of State (Independent
Charge) for Environment and Forests Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 21-August, 2012..
The third phase of YAP initiated with an estimated cost of Rs. 1656
crore, works for rehabilitation of damaged trunk sewers, rehabilitation and modernization of sewage treatment plants and construction of new
state of art plant is envisaged. The information was given by the Minister of State for Water Resources
and Minority Affairs Shri Vincent H. Pala in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 30-August, 2012.
Crocodile park at the Yamuna biodiversity park
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which has developed the Yamuna biodiversity park near Wazirabad village, is now working on Phase II of
the park, where the crocodile park is envisioned. The park is spread over an area of 457
acres and the Phase II would encompass an area of 300 acres more.
in Delhi is called Dead river because there is no trace of life-supporting oxygen
* There are 18 number of drains that empty untreated water, partially treated and
treated sewage into Yamuna.
* 22 kms stretch down stream of Wazirabad barrage in Delhi.
* Yamuna release Ammonia gas into the air that cause difficulty in breathing and a permanent damage to lungs.
* Yamuna release Hydrogen Sulphide gas (H2S) that smells like rotten egs, that cause Bronchitis, Asthma, headache
and difficulty in breathing.
River Yamuna's death as a living river has followed the rise of New Delhi as
sprawling metropolis. Today the 21 million people who live in the city and its suburbs and satellites pour more than 3,000 million litres per
day of sewerage into its 'waters'. Cracked sewerage pipes, water treatment plants stalled by power shortages, and heavy population
pressure – recent figures revealed India as the world's capital of open defecation where 58 per cent do not have access to
a toilet – have killed all life but toxic bacteria.
Farmhouses illegally occupy Yamuna bank
The Environment Ministry on February 19, 2012 announced an escalation of measures for notifying the River Regulation Zone (RRZ), a statutory authority on the
lines of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
It is said that, Yamuna is the consort of Lord Shri Krishna. Gokula, the divine abode of the Lord is the home of Yamuna. It is
said that the river first went round Shri Krishna before descending down to earth as per the order of her Lord.
River Yamuna came to be called as "Kalindi"as she touched the peak of Kalind. Then she
descended down the hills and reached the plains at Khandav Vana which has been developed as Delhi city now.
Yamuna and Yama are believed to be the offspring of Sun God 'Surya'. Hence it is considered that whoever
takes a dip in the holy waters of the source stream of Yamuna may not have fear of death.
Tributaries of Yamuna
Tons River : Tone River is the largest and longest tributary of Yamuna. It rises in the 20,720 ft (6,315 meters) high
Bandarpoonch mountain, and has a large basin in Himachal Pradesh. Tons river meets Yamuna below Kalsi near Dehradun in Uttarakhand.
`Hindon River: Hindon river originates in the Saharanpur District from Upper Shivalik in Lower Himalayan Range. It is entirely rainfed and has a
catchment area of 7, 083 Sq Km, It travels 400 km through Muzaffarnagar District , Meerut District, Baghpat District , Ghaziabad , Noida , before joining Yamuna just outside Delhi.
` Ken River: Ken river flows through Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It originates from village Ahirgawan in Jabalpur district
and travels a distance of 427 km, before merging with the Yamuna at Chilla village, near Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. It has an overall drainage basin of 28,058 Sq.Km.
Chambal River: Chambal_River known as Charmanvati in ancient times, flows through Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, with a
drainage basin of 143,219 Sq.Km and travels a total distance of 960 km, from its source in Vindhya Range , near
Mhow. There are some big hydro-power generation plants such as Gandhi Sagar dam , Rana Pratap Sagar dam
and Jawahar Sagar dam. It merges into the Yamuna south east of Sohan Goan, in Etawah district.
Yamuna in Hindu religion
The rivers Ganga and Yamuna along with the now dried Saraswati, are the most sacred rivers in India.
Yamuna, according to the legends, is the daughter of the Lord Sun (सूर्य) and the sister of Yama, the God of
Death and Shani Deva (शनि). The Goddess is believed to have come down from the heavens
to sanctify the world. As she first came to rest on the peaks of the mountain Kalinda (in the Himalayas), she is also referred to as
Kalindini. According to ancient beliefs it is said that those who take a dip in the holy waters of the river do not fear death.
Ymuna river is also closely connected to Mahabharat and Lord Krishna.
While His father Vasudeva was crossing the Yamuna with baby Lord Krishna for a safe place at Gokula on the other bank of the river from
Mathura, the Lord fell down in the river, and by the dust of His lotus feet the river at once became sanctified.
A bath in Yamuna river is said to be one hundred times more purifying than a bath in the
Ganges, because the Ganges was once touched by the feet of Lord Vishnu, it was the Yamuna where Lord Krishna Himself played and swam with His cowherd
boyfriends and with the beautiful gopi damsels of Vraja.
Perhaps the Yamuna was in spate this year just like this centuries ago when
Lord Krishna was born. As the flooded river meanders its way through the land of the cowherd god, hordes of curious people
have converged on the ghats in Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra, creating a colourful setting for Jamashtami festival.
The Yamuna has made this Janmashtami special. On Tuesday, the water level in the river crossed the lower danger mark of 495 ft. Right now
it's 495.3 ft, bringing alive the legend of Krishna, when the newly born Sri Krishna lowers his feet into
the river while (his father) Vasudev transports him across the river.
Vasudeva was crossing the
Yamuna with baby Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna with Radha
River Yamuna is the largest tributary of Ganga. It serves as the lifeline to lakhs of people living on its banks. It provides
drinking water and is also used for irrigating vast agricultural lands. The cities and towns on the bank extract large quantities of water
for industrial use and discharge a variety of pollutants in the river making Yamuna as one of the most polluted rivers in the country.
Pollution is not the only problem plaguing the Yamuna. Upstream of
Wazirabad, on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border — where the sand mining mafia is clandestinely working to change the course of the river.
Each day, hundreds of truckloads of sand is being carried out by the miners, who police say are residents of nearby villages. Each
truckload is sold for about Rs 800 on the outskirts of Delhi, basically for construction purposes.
Gurgaon depends on the Yamuna river for its water but there too the river water is decreasing at a rate of five
percent per year for the past 20 years.
Yamuna supports a wide variety of plant and animal species.
The river is home to thousands of resident and migratory birds. The banks of the river are one of the last refuges
for the dwindling populations of blackbucks, chitals, nilgais etc. On November 16, 2010 ailing Yamuna proved fatal for aquatic life once again. The
death of about 2,000 fish in the river, between Vrindavan and Mathura, has brought the issue of pollution in the Yamuna to centre stage again.
It was the morning bathers who spotted the dead fish floating on the surface of the water on Saturday. The matter was brought to the notice of the forest department.
The Okhla Bird Sanctuary, spread over four sq kms on the Yamuna river, is one of
the International Bird areas listed by Bird Live International, a non-government organisation that works for promotion and conservation of
world habitat. Thousands of avian migrants waded along with resident water birds. However, there were several species that were not spotted this year.
Nikhil Devasar, founder of the Delhi Birds' Club, said, "Around 10 years ago, we spotted about 10,000 or more
migratory birds. Now, it is just about 3,000-4,000 birds. Several factors affect migration. There is more human thoroughfare here and
pollution in the Yamuna has increased.”
Lesson from river Thames
River Thames in London was so polluted and stinking in the year 1850 that the
British Parliament had to be shifted away from the river, says Robert Oates, director of the Thames River Restoration Trust. A century and half on, the river is much cleaner and Britain, he says, is now
investing in cleaning a tributary of the Thames, the Lee, ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.
After spending crores of rupees to clean Yamuna river through Yamuna Action Plan, now the Delhi government has said it cannot clean the Yamuna ahead of the Commonwealth Games this October.
Yamuna after immersed idols
Once again, as Delhi celebrated Durga Puja, the Yamuna
bore the brunt. Over 450 puja committees immersed idols of Durga,
Saraswati (सरस्वती), Laxmi (महा लक्ष्मी) ,
Ganesha (श्री गणेश) and Kartikeya idols on October 17, 2010 and left behind a drain full of wooden debris, plastic bags,
metal and other organic and inorganic waste. Except some committees most were seen carelessly tossing their plastic packets full of puja samagri into 'holy' waters of the
Yamuna. By the evening, Yamuna ghats were full of idols floating in a mass of polythene bags, flowers and boxes of incense sticks
The government failed yet again to provide Delhiites with special enclosures for immersions this Dussehra
on October 17, 2010. The damage done to the river each year in the garb of religious practices can
be judged by the fact that more than 3,000 idols from about 450 puja pandals and other smaller celebrations
are immersed annually during the puja season.
Yamuna banks on biodiversity
The Yamuna Biodiversity Park in Wazirabad in North Delhi, 457-acres of
nature's reserve, has been especially created to replicate the lost ecosystems of the Yamuna river.
Once a barren land, where village boys used to play cricket, it now houses wetlands and forests, sheltering over 1500 plants, insects,
birds, fish and mammal species. In a concrete jungle like Delhi, it is nothing less than an oasis of unending green, created painstakingly.
Migratory birds in Okhla Bird
Sanctuary near Yamuna river
The gharial's decline in Yamuna
In 1885, American zoologist William Hornaday wrote that he had managed to count 64 Gharialsin a mere two hours basking together on the
banks of the river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh. More than a century later, the
river has slowly degraded into a pale remnant of its former glory and
the Gharial, the guardian of rivers as per Hindu mythology, has been pushed to the brink of extinction.
The Gharial is a river crocodile endemic to the Indian sub-continent. In India the
major population of Gharials is found in the Girwa and Chambal rivers.Even though pockets of isolated Gharial population exist along the
borders of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, it has all but disappeared from the river Yamuna.
According to experts the drastic decline in the gharial population can
be attributed to a variety of causes including over-hunting for skins and trophies, egg collection for consumption, killing for indigenous
medicine, and killing by fishermen.
Yamuna in Dehli
Yamuna traverses 1,375 km from Yamnotri, its Himalayan source in Uttarakhand, to
Allahabad in UP, and maintains a seemingly good quality of water till it reaches Wazirabad in Delhi. In Delhi, 15 drains discharge their filthy muck and waste
into the river, making it the most polluted river in the country with practically no biologically dissolved oxygen. It runs for 22 km in Delhi and
what flows (does not flow) is basically stagnant filth, effluents, sewage and pollutants.
Delhi, the capital of
India is best known for pollution of the Yamuna River, which looks like a sewer. Once the lifeline of Delhi, Yamuna has now became
the most polluted water resource of the country. India’s capital New Delhi is not at par with other major
cities of the world despite its magnificent flyovers, towering buildings, huge multiplexes, fun parks,
metro and much more. A number of reasons are behind Delhi’s ailing position and
pollution of river Yamuna is one of them. From big industries and factories to people living in big colonies, slums and
rural areas, all pollute the river with impunity because of untreated water.
In Delhi, where the government has over the decades spent the maximum amount of
resources to clean the Yamuna, 40 per cent of the mess generated flows untreated
into the river. The Supreme Court may have been seized of the matter for a decade but nearly half of the population in the Capital does not have a sewage
system and the Delhi stretch of the Yamuna remains the most polluted river section in the country.
Recently, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit claimed that Yamuna would be cleaner up to 70 per cent before the Commonwealth Games in 2010. But
Narain, the director of the Science and Environment Centre, says that throwing more money into a sewage-diversion infrastructure project would be a waste. Ironically, the Delhi
government itself submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that the Yamuna clean drive would not be complete before 2012. In its affidavit,
Delhi Jal Board (DJB) said that the river remained a ‘sewage canal’ due to the 143 unauthorised colonies, 1,080 slums and villages that present a problem in
collection of sewage water that flows into the Yamuna untreated.
Delhi government has also inserted advertisements in newspapers claiming that
the river would be clean by 2010. But the affidavit has cut short the tall claims of Delhi government to clean up the river by 2010. According to reports,
for the last 14 years the apex court is monitoring all the steps taken by the Delhi Jal Board to clean up the river. About Rs 1,800 crore has been spent on
the cleaning drive in 14 years, but the river is becoming more and more polluted daily.
The fate of the Yamuna is now in the hands of India's Supreme Court, which took up the issue on its own in 1994 after press reports highlighting the river's dismal
condition. In May the Court approved a proposal from the Delhi Jal Board to build interceptor sewers that would channel the
waste flowing from unconnected parts of the city to the sewage-treatment plants. The new construction will cost another $500 million.
The premier pollution control agency is regularly monitoring the rivers water quality under National River Conservation Directorate sponsored project.
"The 22-km stretch which runs through the capital contributes 77 per cent of the total pollution recorded from the 1768-km-long river," the CPCB said.
As many as 18 drains in national capital falling in Yamuna contributed mainly to total 265 tonnes/day BOD load in 2007 while canals in Agra and Gurgaon added around 50
tonnes. Of these 18 drains, five drains -- Najafgarh, Shahdara, Sarita Vihar Bridge, Sen Nursing Home and Power House contributed 83 per cent of
total load, the report said, adding domestic and industrial sewage generated within the city is the main source of pollution.
Delhi and Agra-located on the river Yamuna are looking for water, even as a river passes by them; Delhi is already getting water from the Tehri dam, over 500 km away.
A Parliamentary panel has criticised the Environment Ministry for diverting catchment areas of Yamuna bank in the city for purposes other than creating reservoirs which would have ensured steady supply of fresh water
in it. "Most of the catchment area of the river Yamuna has been diverted for purposes other than creating
reservoirs," the panel said, taking serious note of the pathetic condition of the river despite
several plans and huge investment. In its report tabled in Parliament on April 30, 2010, the panel headed by MP T Subbarami Reddy.
Interceptor sewers : On May 19, 2010 the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) approved the project for laying interceptor sewers along the three
major drains in Delhi for abatement of pollution in the Yamuna River. Interceptor sewers would be laid along Najafgarh, Supplementary and
Shahdara drains. The project is expected to cost of Rs. 1357.71 crore.
Delhi's population has grown at a phenomenal rate of 47percent per decade (as
against the national average of 21 percent), but planning and provisioning of infrastructure has not kept pace with the increase in population, resulting in
rural villages, shanties and colonies without adequate sewerage infrastructure. Only around 54percent of the population is connected to this sewerage network,
leaving 46percent of the population uncovered. The colonies, villages and Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) clusters without sewerage
facilities are mainly in outer Delhi areas and the wastewater generated is
presently flowing into river Yamuna through 18 drains and sub-drains. Of these 18 drains, the 3 major drains of Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahadara
contribute maximum pollution load. About 1764 MLD of wastewater flows through 190 sub-drains into these 3 major drains and then in the Yamuna river.
A unique Plan: On the World Environment Day 2010 ,
Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is also doing their bit by developing bio-diversity
parks in the national capital of India, Delhi. These parks are unique landscapes, designed in house by DDA the first of their kind in India
and perhaps in the world, which, like nature reserves, harbour hundreds of vanishing species living together in the form of diverse communities
and provide ecological, cultural and educational benefits to the urban society. The prime goal of the parks is conservation and preservation of
ecosystems of the two major landforms of Delhi, the river Yamuna and the Aravalli hills
Yamuna in Agra
The Taj Mahal and other heritage monuments in and around
Agra on the bank of Yamuna river are facing a major threat from dust-laden air. Unabated construction is
making the city’s green cover disappear and drying up water bodies, adding to
the dust levels. The suspended particulate matter (SPM) level in the ambient air around the Taj Mahal
is over 350 micrograms per cubic metre, much above the permissible standard of 100.
Uttar Pradesh officials have devised a novel method to clean up the highly-polluted Yamuna river on June 28, 2011: excavate 10 ponds to store waste water
that was hitherto flowing into the river from 19 drains, treat this and then use it to create clusters of greenery along the river.
"This project envisages a series of 10 ponds along the river to store drain water for treatment. The plan will not only recharge underground
reserves but help our greening efforts in a big way, plus of course prevent polluted water from flowing into the river directly," District
Forest Officer N.K. Janoo said. Around 30 million litres of water from the 19 drains will be treated
every single day. Dirty water will be flushed into ponds using gravitational force. The size of the ponds will vary, according to the
capacity and catchment area of each drain.
On September 15, 2010 the Yamuna river
in spate touching the foundation of the Taj Mahal is providing thousands of visitors a rare spectacle in Agra, 'just the
way the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had wanted it to look.' 'The original conceptual framework of the Taj Mahal considered Yamuna as
an integral part and not as a separate entity. Water of the river should flow touching the rear foundation of the monument to keep the structure
in good health,' said Mughal historian R. Nath. The river has bridged the gap between the foundation of the Taj and the
main stream which had been distanced by an artificial park.
Once at the centre of a huge political furore, the ill-conceived Taj Corridor is now reduced to 80 acres of
wasteland used as a dumping ground for civic garbage with a signboard on the gate reading “Court Property”.
How much has "cleaning up Yamuna" cost the govt, asks SC
That nearly two thousand crores may have been spent on various waste water treatment plants and schemes to clean up, and possibly, save the Yamuna from officially being declared a toxic water body, has made news for decades. Now, the apex Court has asked the agencies
responsible for formulating, implementing and monitoring such plans, how much this exercise has cost the government.
On April 13, 2012 the Supreme Court of India ordered the Central
Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to submit a report on the amount of
money spent on cleaning the river. The SC justices reiterated the earlier order
asking for details of the expenditure on the various "clean Yamuna" plans undertaken by the Delhi government via the Delhi Jal
The Delhi High Court on Yamuna
The Delhi High Court on
May 8, 2012 slammed civic authorities for failure to construct special permanent enclosures on the banks of River Yamuna for
immersion of idols and other items during festivals. Petitioner VK Jain of NGO Tapas told the court that despite the court’s 2006 order and
also the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) undertaking to the court in 2009 for the construction of 13 special permanent enclosures, only
four temporary enclosures have come up so far.
Justice GP Mittal said if the government and the MCD do not give an
assurance by August 29, the court will summon the environment secretary. The court has also sought an explanation from the Delhi government, DDA
and MCD as to why contempt of court proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them for not complying with court orders.
Yamuna river in spate touching
the foundation of the Taj Mahal
One of India's most enduring symbols, the Taj Mahal
at Agra, could sink as a result of damage to its supporting structure if the depletion and drying of the Yamuna River continues, experts fear.
The main damage is caused by the drawing of water for industrial
purposes and use by the growing populations of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar
Pradesh. The unplanned industrialization and urbanization also has resulted in sewage, waste and poisonous material being spewed back into the river.
Yamuna no better than drain
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh recently said that Yamuna is not a river in Delhi. It is a nullah. So, whatever happened to the Rs 1,800 crore
spent on cleaning the river? Hollow promises made by Delhi and Central government to clean the river before
Commonwealth Games in 2010 have met a dead-end. Yamuna is dead in a city that expresses no gratitude towards the river that meets more than 70 per cent of its
water demand (before it turns into a virtual drain at Wazirabad in west Delhi). If towns (like Agra) downstream do what Delhi is so ruthlessly doing to the
river, then even this 'river-nullah' might turn into a multitude of open sewers and drains. As environmentalist Sunita Narain said cryptically: The River is
dead. It just has not been officially cremated.
All those accusations about the failure of the government to clean up the Yamuna was acknowledged by the CM
herself on June 22, 2009. Answering a question during the budget session, Dikshit admitted that despite the crores of rupees that have gone into
cleaning the river Yamuna but there has been no result''.
After spending nearly Rs 1,500 crore, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on February 17, 2010 that it is virtually impossible for her government
to clean the Yamuna before the Commonwealth Games 2010
to be held in the city from October 3 to 14. "It will not be possible to clean the river ahead of the Commonwealth
Games. It cannot be cleaned in just a few months," she told reporters when asked whether the government has failed to clean the river.
On January 16, 2010 a group of US green activists was shocked to see the state of river Yamuna behind the Taj Mahal. "My god, you call this a river!" said one of them.
The group represents river cleaning foundations in the US. Shocked activist Ginny Harris of the Alice Ferguson Foundation which is involved in the Potomac
river cleaning in Washington DC, exclaimed: "My god, you call this a river!"
while interacting with local activists..
Union Sports minister M S Gill said the Yamuna is so dirty
that foreign visitors should be kept away from the river during the Commonwealth Games 2010,
plans are afoot to make the riverbed a tourist-friendly zone — keeping in mind environmental issues.
A group of students from Delhi University Jamia Millia Islamia and other educational institutes have launched the
campaign 'Walk for Yamuna'. On August 21, 2010, the students planted dozens of
saplings along the bank of the river at Wazirabad in north Delhi. The students initially plan to clean up the banks at three places -
Wazirabad, Kudusia and Nizamuddin - and later all the places in the city the river passes by before the Oct 3-14 Games, said Manas, president of
the group Mantra. He goes by only one name.
Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna is a project for making a difference to our city of
Delhi-NCR. What started as an initiative of The Art of Living, has now become a full blown citizen’s action plan. Dozens of civil society groups have already
joined the movement and many companies including Microsoft, Educomp and Kent RO have become partners. The UNESCO, World Bank, JICA (Japan International
Cooperation Agency) etc. among many others are already on board the campaign and more and more people and groups are joining every day.
Future of Yamuna?
Great cities like London developed around the Thames, Paris around Siene, Vienna around Danube,
Moscow's around Moskva. Alexandria and Cairo around beautiful river
Nile. Delhi was built around Yamuna, Kolkata next to Hooghly and Varanasi around Ganga. While rivers continue to be the heart, soul and
pride of major cities around the world, Yamuna has been choked to death.
the most sacred rivers in India, a life line to Delhi, Agra, Mathura and nearby UP
villages and a pride to the Capital. Till September, 2009, an expenditure of Rs 226.89 crore has been incurred under
YAP phase but alll money were lost. Hollow promises made by Delhi and Central government to clean the river before
Commonwealth Games in 2010 have met a dead-end. The Commonwealth Games
were the main priorities for Delhi and Central government rather then the future of Yamuna.
When work on the Commonwealth Games 2010
began in 2006 the mega budget was Rs 22,000 crore. Now Rs.70,000 crore was spent on Commonwealth
games with huge corruption charges. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 15, 2010 appointed a high-level committee headed by a former CAG
to go into allegations of corruption related to the mega sporting event. And again the future of Yamuna is in background.
Jaypee Infratech, which is planning to raise Rs 1,650 crore through an IPO, will complete its flagship project, the 165-Km Yamuna Expressway by 2011,
about two years ahead of the scheduled time, said the Jaypee group founder chairman Jaiprakash Gaur. The six-lane expressway, connecting Greater Noida in NCR and Agra,
is being developed at a cost of Rs 9,739 crore. The company has so far invested Rs 6,250
Uttar Pradesh government's Yamuna Expressway road project connecting
Delhi with Agra may hit a roadblock with the Supreme Court today (Aug 6, 2010) questioning the environment clearance given by authorities for
construction in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal by cutting over 4,000 trees near Yamuna.
On September 8, 2010 Supreme Court cleared the way for the six-lane Yamuna Expressway, upholding the Allahabad High Court
verdict on acquisition of land by the Uttar Pradesh government for the project. The Allahabad High Court, dismissing petitions of 35 farmers whose lands
were being acquired for the project, upheld the state government policy for acquiring land for the mega project.
The new clean Yamuna project was approved by Delhi Governmenty on July 21, 2010.
Delhi Cabinet agreeing to release its share of money to implement the interceptor sewer project. The Delhi government will give Rs. 882.51
crore of the total project cost of Rs. 1,358 crore. The central government has already
agreed to pay the remaining amount under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban renewal Mission.
First Uttar Pradesh government's Yamuna Expressway at a cost of Rs 9,739
crore and now Delhi-Chandigarh expressway` for Rs 8000 crore along Yamuna. The river is crying for help for last 15 years, but due to lack of
political will or inefficient policies and people's ignorance, we all are dying slow deaths.
1, Ministry of Water Resources
2, Yamunotri Temple Uttarkashi
Upper Yamuna River Board
Popular names interest to take a social cause?
Is there anything news when popular names from the showbiz industry
express their interest to take a social cause? Those who have seen Preity Zinta, looking extremely elated while cleaning the streets of
Mumbai, or SRK sweeping Mumbai streets or Aamir showing interest in joining a hunger strike, wouldn’t be too surprised to see Priyanka
Chopra joining the bandwagon to clean Yamuna.
The toxic gases of
Yamuna damage the the AC system of Metro
The Delhi Metro is losing its cool on the Yamuna stretch due to the toxic river. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation officials claim the air conditioning
systems of trains that cross the “dead” Yamuna daily and of those parked at Yamuna Bank depot are badly damaged. “The toxic gases damage the coating
on the condenser joints of the AC system, which in turn causes leakage of coolant gas,” said DMRC director Rajkumar.
“Condenser systems of 350 coaches on lines 3 (Dwarka-Noida City Centre) and 4 (Yamuna Bank-Vaishali) and of 100 out of 200 coaches on line 1
(Dilshad Garden-Rithala) have been replaced. But here’s the more worrying aspect: if the river toxins are affecting
the Metro, it is also causing your respiratory system.
“There is no oxygen in the Yamuna, just sewage. Toxic fumes, including
ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, emanating from the polluted water corrodes metals,” said DD Basu, senior scientist, Central Pollution Control
Board.The DMRC has asked the coach manufacturer to coat coolant tubes with anti-corrosion paint.