New Delhi: In the past three decades, Yamuna River has receded into a drain carrying large scale pollutants. A major reason behind the depleting level of the river has been the soaring pollution level. Originated as a small stream from Yamunotri, River Yamuna stretches to a distance of 1,375 kilometres before merging into River Ganga at Sangam of Allahabad.

Prior to reaching Delhi, the river water is clean and pure. However, the stretch of Yamuna passing through Delhi which is of barely 22 kms accounts for the maximum pollution in the river. Once termed as lifeline of Delhi, Yamuna has now reduced to a stream. Delhi alone contributes to 70 percent of the pollution in river.

According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) records, the distance covered by Yamuna at Delhi is 22 kms, which is only two percent of the river’s total length. CPCB authorities maintained that the river has a continuous flow only in the monsoon season, whereas in the remaining part of the year the river flow comes to a virtual standstill due to hazardous chemicals, garbage and effluents discharged in it from Delhi.

Remains of deceased people, toxic chemicals from factories, dirt, dirty water and immersion of around 3, 000 idols every year have polluted Yamuna.

According to Union National River Conservation Directorate of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Yamuna Action Plan was started in 1993 and Rs 1,356 crore budget was sanctioned for its cleaning process in 2009.

However, it seems that fund sanctioned for the purpose have failed to derive the desired results.

Two months back, confluence of saints and people came to Delhi from Allahabad demanding Yamuna to be declared as National River and to make it pollution free. They also demanded for setting up of Yamuna basin Authority.

The government in 2009 had said that Rs 2800 crore were spent for Yamuna Action Plan I and II. But, due to lack of concrete plans, there were no results.

Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of Environment Sciences Prof S Mukherjee said Yamuna River has become sick which can be treated by cleaning process at various levels.

JPN/Bureau