- Drop in pollution during lockdown, led to Yamuna cleaning itself up
- Toxic foam found in the river at Okhla barrage after easing of lockdown
- Compared to pre-lockdown status, Yamuna 33% cleaner: DPCC Study
New Delhi: As the Central and Delhi governments allowed relaxation in curbs following two months of lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, pollution has returned to the Yamuna river as toxic foam was found flowing on the river water at Okhla barrage. Kamal, one of the fishermen, said on Friday that toxic foam was visible on the Yamuna waters since the past two weeks.
As the industrial activity was halted and other commercial activities slowed during the lockdown, the Yamuna river cleaned itself, allowing numerous Indian and migratory birds such as Grey Heron, Ibis and Storks to flock near its waters.
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A finding by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee revealed that in Delhi, compared to the pre-lockdown days, the river was cleaner by around 33 per cent. Additionally, the committee found that the water improved further downstream near Mathura. But since the lockdown was lifted in a phased manner from June 1, the clarity of the Yamuna water has also gone down during the lockdown period.
Similar scenes were witnessed during Chatth Puja last year when devotees were seen offering prayers standing knee-deep in the toxic foam on the Yamuna.
Talking to ANI, Jai Prakash, the Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation said that it is true that the Yamuna water had become clean during the lockdown.
If the pollution level has increased then we have to make a plan to clean the Yamuna. If any responsibility is given to MCD, we will be happy to work to clean the Yamuna. We have to also see that industry operations should also be not disturbed, he added.
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Nirmal Jain, the Mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation, said,
It is the responsibility of the Delhi government to clean the Yamuna river, but if they want and assign us some role for cleaning of the Yamuna river, we will welcome them.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.