Festive season brings along toxic threat to Yamuna


The polluted waters of River Yamuna

The government has not so far earmarked separate enclosures for dumping the materials as directed by the Delhi High Court.

In absence of alternative arrangements, people have been immersing the religious articles and idols in the river and ruining the water quality further.

Even though the government has been spending crores of rupees on its "Save Yamuna" campaign, it has not even managed to ensure designated enclosures to prevent the dumping of religious articles and idols in the river, environmentalist Vinod Jain rued.

According to a survey, more than 300 idols were immersed in Yamuna last year, accounting for approximately 36 tonne of paints and other chemicals and over 15 tonne of puja material, including flowers, leaves and clothes among other articles.
"With no preventive steps taken by the government to save the Yamuna from such pollution, the river's condition will deteriorate even more," Jain said.
This, despite the Delhi High Court directing the state authorities to take preventive measures to ensure that river is not polluted further during the festive seasons such as 'Durga pooja' and 'Dusshera'.

The order had come a few years back when court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Jain, seeking proper implementation of the Delhi Plastic Bag (Manufacture, Sale, Usage) Act, 2000 and amended in 2004, laying special focus on curbing pollution in rivers and water bodies.
Noting that the river cannot take the load of the 'religious samagris' and idols which at times have toxic contents, the court directed the authorities concerned to "provide designated enclosures for such materials in the river Yamuna."
At the same time, the court also directed the Delhi Government to create awareness among people to encourage them to immerse the religious materials in a proposed enclosure.
"In this festive season the river will be again inundated with idols and 'religious samagri' that will further choke it with toxic elements," Jain said, adding, with no effective steps by the government, the threat to the Yamuna is rising day by day. PTI AJ ASJ 09211332 DELHI

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