JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:17/01/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

No curbs on effluents entering Yamuna

Neha Lalchandani, TNN, 14 January 2014


NEW DELHI: The Delhi Jal Board had to reduce production in two major water treatment plants by half after ammonia levels in raw water spiked on Monday. This is not the first time DJB has been forced to take such a drastic step and will definitely not be the last. Hundreds of polluting industries in Haryana have been for years discharging untreated waste directly into the Yamuna, which then supplies water to Delhi.


With no agency willing to take responsibility for the violation and Haryana set to industrialize further, the capital can only resort to better treatment facilities for supplying clean drinking water.


The untreated effluents contaminate the river, flowing into Delhi from Haryana, with unimaginable amounts of various heavy metals. Cities like Panipat, Sonipat and Karnal have several industries using dyes without the common effluent treatment plant capacity to treat all of it. Between Panipat, Karnal and Yamuna Nagar, the sewage and effluent treatment capacity is 128 million litres a day as against 330.9mld of domestic and industrial waste produced each day.


"Worse still, the existing effluent treatment plants are not working to capacity and much of the waste entirely bypasses the plants and flows into the river through a network of drains. Drain number 6 and 2 are the biggest worries for Delhi-the latter frequently overflows into another drain connected to Yamuna," said an official from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Sources said Haryana Pollution Control Board has taken action against some polluting industries, closed down 14 and asked a few more to upgrade their plants. "That is not enough. As Haryana grows, its population will rise and along with it the pollution. Delhi should also make changes in its treatment system to deal with this pollution," said a CPCB official.


Manoj Mishra, convener of NGO Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, said the fault did not start and end with Haryana.


"There are three states that can be looked at collectively. It is in the interest of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to ensure that the river is kept clean since all three are getting back what they release into it. Haryana and UP discharge untreated waste into the Yamuna upstream of Delhi, which is what the capital gets for its drinking water supply. Subsequently, what Delhi discharges into the river is what Haryana and UP get in their cities and towns downstream of Delhi. Delhi's treatment plants are not even equipped to detect some of the heavy metals that can be found in Yamuna, let alone treat them," he said.


In February 2013, YJA had tested water in the Dhanura Escape and found heavy metals exceeding the limit. The Dhanura Escape carries industrial effluent from Yamuna Nagar and meets the Yamuna upstream of Kunjpura in the Karnal district. "Chromium was 0.5mg/l against 0.13mg/l, lead was 0.3mg/l against 0.1mg/l, while iron was 3.51mg/l against a permissible 0.1mg/l. Delhi picks up this water for drinking and cannot detect or treat these metals. Domestic and industrial effluents getting mixed before flowing into the river is another concern as the so-called treated water is picked up for agriculture and industrial effluent is poisoning our food," said Misra.


Delhi is in the process of constructing an interceptor sewage system that it hopes will stop discharge of a majority of untreated sewage into the river.