NEW DELHI: Once again, the Yamuna river in Delhi was seen covered under white blanket on Monday near the Okhla barrage. As hazardous toxic foam and froth covered the river, the AAP-led government blamed the UP and Haryana government for the increased ammonia levels and phosphate content.
“It appears that the UP and Haryana governments are not bothered about how they are releasing untreated wastewater into the Yamuna. I’d like to put on record that Delhi Jal Board has been constantly working to augment its STP capacities so that untreated effluents are not released into the Yamuna,” said the DJB VC Raghav Chadha.
Manoj Misra, Convenor of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, said that the state government cannot put the blame on other states. “Some pollutants may be coming and joining the Yamuna from other states like Hindon canal which carries pollutants. But that does not mean Delhi’s share of the river does not have any pollutants. Main culprit is industrial pollution, which Delhi government is unable to handle it along with sewage pollution,” Misra added.
Dr Prabhakar Shukla, Scientist, IIT-Delhi, explained that there are three factors that lead to toxic frothing of the Yamuna.First, the river has water plants, species, which with time decay but stays in the river. The waste or the decay either gets mixed with water or does not. The portion that does not remain for long and goes on polluting the water, leads to white frothing. “It is mostly the chemicals responsible for white frothing and large amount of phosphate in it,” said Dr Shukla.
"Second, untreated detergent and soap waste from households gets mixed with river water. There’s a scientific term for it — eutrophication — which is causing the Yamuna toxicity,” Dr Shukla noted. The third factor, is that since the water is discharged at Okhla barrage from a height, there is an air formulation in the drops and forms a foam. “Since the temperature is dipping, the foam can sustain for days,” he said.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday blamed the Haryana government for the frothing. Rai said that BJP leaders should seek answers from their party-led government in Haryana