Stop sewerage from going to Yamuna, says TERI study

A TERI study said that no sewerage from Delhi-NCR should go to the Yamuna untreated. The city government should focus on providing sewer facility in the entire Delhi-NCR to ensure near “zero” discharge in the river, said study – ‘Evaluation of river quality restoration plan’. 

“This can be done by upgrading the existing Sewer Treatment Plants (STPs) and laying new ones. The city government should recycle and reuse drain water so that it can be used for irrigation, horticulture, and industrial purposes instead of finding its way to Yamuna,” it added.

According to the study, any sewage entering directly into the river must be tapped and treated by establishing alternative drainage systems like canals to dispose the drain water without lowering the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels in the river.

Even after the completion of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) phase I and II, the water-quality of the river does not meet the required standards, it added.

“Considering the impacts of YAP in terms of water quality improvement and significant investments in terms of cost and time, there is a need to reformulate river action plans based on impact predictions under various interventions,” it said.

Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti, said, “We need to analyse why rivers, that were unpolluted for thousands of years, have suddenly become severely polluted during the past 40 to 50 years. Today, even animals cannot take a dip in their waters.”

“We need a judicious mix of knowledge from global and national practices to clean up our rivers, as it has happened in Sabarmati, Thames and Rhine. The most important task is to ensure reduction of biological waste in the river. Even treated water should not be allowed to flow into the river.”

She added that participatory approach from various stakeholders, including industries, is needed. 

“The industry needs to realise that if rivers die, industries will die too,” Bharti said in her statement.

Dr R K Pachauri, Chancellor, TERI University said, “India’s rivers are polluted to an extent that does not allow any life to survive in them. The result is not only widespread economic loss, but also the spread of diseases on account of pollutants, toxic waste and disease carrying organisms being transported by our rivers.”

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