NEW DELHI: Toxic Link, an NGO has claimed that Yamuna is highly polluted with heavy metals and toxics contaminating the river’s water to the extent that it is unfit for human consumption.
In a research conducted by Toxic Link, an advisory organisation on environmental issues, it has been detected that high concentration of turbidity and total solids in Yamuna river were alarming in the Wazirabad stretch of the river in the national capital.
At a time when a lot is being done for ridding the Ganga of pollution, the NGO’s finding would draw the attention of the NDA Government, which for the first time, has set up a special ministry headed by Uma Bharti to improve the health and hygiene of the major rivers of the country.
The NGO has informed through its press release that samples collected at different locations in Delhi (before Wazirabad and after Wazirabad) during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season spotted high concentration of turbidity and total solids.
The findings show that on an average, the turbidity level is 20 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) and for total solids it is 687 mg/l (milligram per litre) in water which is alarming as compared to the Indian standards of turbidity at 5 NTU, and total solids is 500 mg/l in water.
During the post-monsoon season, at both spots of Wazirabad, the turbidity level is 27 NTU and total solid concentration is 810 mg/l. The pH level during both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season was 7.03 and 7.11 respectively while the Indian standard for pH is 6.5 to 8.5.
The study focused on the heavy metals (Lead, Cadmium, Chromium and Mercury) content in the sediments of river Yamuna both before and after Wazirabad. As such there is no such specific standard for heavy metals content in the sediment and soil. However, this study is able to provide a comparative analysis of the level of contamination of heavy metals .
The research has found high level of heavy metal contamination after Wazirabad in comparison to the samples collected before Wazribad., which is a serious concern and suitable measures are required to check prevailing contamination.
The average lead concentration during pre and post monsoon season was 16.18 ppm and 23.92 ppm respectively.
The cadmium concentration in pre monsoon season varied from 0.2 ppm to 0.38 ppm, the data observed. All the detected heavy metals (Lead, Cadmium, Chromium, Mercury and Arsenic) are known for causing serious health implications.
The study has also recommended creation of more data linking with possible health impacts, contamination of food crops growing along the river, mapping out unnoticed sources of contamination, adoption of better technology for suitable remediation and public awareness to make the river healthy.