Yamuna polluted beyond threshold level, aquatic life declines sharply

MoS Jal Shakti said that the extreme pollution level in Yamuna led to a sharp decline in the population of aquatic life such as Indian major carp like Mirgala, Catla, Rohu, etc.

Published: 14th March 2023 12:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2023 07:04 PM   |  A+A-

Toxic foam floats on the surface of Yamuna River at Kalindi Kunj, in New Delhi. (File Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS).

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Yamuna river’s stretch in the national capital region has become the most polluted part of the river over the last three years. It is followed downstream of the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh. In its upper stream, Haryana’s stretch of the river is the most polluted. 

Responding to a question raised by CM Ramesh, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Bishweswar Tudu said Delhi has the highest level of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) among all its stretches of the river.

BOD measures the amount of oxygen required to remove waste organic matter from water. It means the highest BOD, the lowest quality of water. The fair amount of BOD level should be lesser or equal to 3 mg/litre to take bathe in the open.

In Delhi, the highest level of BOD was 114 mg/litre in 2020 followed by 83 mg/litre in two subsequent years. In the same period, the downstream of the river in Uttar Pradesh had BOD levels of 59, 30, and 18 in the years 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. 


The BOD level was 9, 21, and 19 in its upper stream in Haryana in the same corresponding years.

Only Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh’s river stretches had satisfactory BOD levels in the corresponding period.

The minister said in his written reply that the extreme pollution level in Yamuna led to a sharp decline in the population of aquatic life such as Indian major carp like Mirgala, Catla, Rohu, etc.

He quoted the study done by Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI). The CFRI had assigned the task of rejuvenating the population of major Indian carp in the Ganga river basin, including the Yamuna river.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) monitors water quality in all states and Union Territories under National Water Quality Monitoring Programme in association with the State Pollution Control Boards.

In the past, jailed AAP leader and Delhi's former water minister Satyendra Jain had promised to clean Yamuna by 2023. He had committed to making the river fit for bathing and return of fish or carp by 2023.


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