Yamuna water improved during lockdown : Ministry of Jal Shakti

The Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria informed that Lok Sabha on Thursday that the water quality of Yamuna in Delhi improved during lockdown.

Monitoring of River Yamuna was carried out during April, 2020 within Delhi stretch by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)at 3 monitoring locations viz. Palla, Nizamuddin bridge and Okhla to assess the impact of lockdown on water quality. The results of the analysis indicate the following:

  • Water Quality of River Yamuna within the Delhi stretch at Palla, was complying with respect to Primary water quality criteria for bathing viz. pH, Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), whereas, the water quality at Nizamuddin bridge and Okhla was not complying with respect to Primary water quality criteria for bathing in terms of DO and BOD.
  • As regards the assessment of water quality of river Yamuna in April 2020 during lockdown period, as compared to pre-lockdown period i.e. March, 2020, at Palla, improvement in terms of BOD was observed and at locations Nizamuddin bridge and Okhla, improvement in terms of both DO and BOD was observed.

The improvement in water quality has been attributed to:

  • Release of fresh water from Wazirabad Barrage and availability of dilution in river Yamuna;
  • Stoppage of industrial effluent discharge (about 35.9 MLD) due to lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Good penetration of solar radiation in water body due to washing out of bottom sediments, settleable and colloidal form of pollutants in river Yamuna due to discharge of fresh water from Wazirabad barrage; and
  • Absence of human activities such as throwing of garbage, bathing, washing of clothes etc. due to lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister informed, stringent monitoring and regulation of industries and pollution sources is undertaken to assess the compliance status of Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) for enforcing regulatory framework on the polluting industries. Stringent action is taken by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)/State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)/ Pollution Control Committees against the GPIs discharging into main stem of Ganga River & its tributaries which are non-complying with respect to the prescribed norms.

Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF & CC) formulates and notifies standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants viz. air pollutants and water pollutants from industries, operations or processes with an aim to protect and improve the quality of the environment and abate environmental pollution.

Industry specific effluent/emission standards are notified under Schedule-I: ‘Standards for Emission or Discharge of Environmental Pollutants from Various Industries’ of Environment Protection Act, 1986. State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees in States and Union Territories, respectively are adhered to ensure the compliance of these standards. So far, 47 industry specific effluent standards and 63 industry specific emission standards have been notified.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) regulates industrial pollution through consent mechanism. DPCC has issued stricter norms for sewage treatment in Delhi.

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