As industries reopen, pollution in Yamuna rises; DJB says water supply to be hit

New Delhi: As industries in and around Delhi NCR have started to operate following the Unlock phase announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the progress of reducing pollution in the Yamuna has started to be reversed to a certain extent with foam full of pollutants again being spotted in the river.

As a result, water treatment plants in Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla were on Friday forced to curtail production, the Delhi Jal Board said, adding that water will, therefore, be available at low pressure in certain parts of the Capital.

The water utility board said it was trying to rationalise the supply of water until the situation improved.

"Due to high levels of pollutants being received in the Yamuna..., water production has been curtailed from treatment plants in Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla," the DJB said in a statement. The affected areas are parts of West Delhi, North Delhi, Central Delhi, South Delhi, Delhi Cantonment and New Delhi Municipal Council areas, it said.

The utility board has urged the public to make judicious use of water in the meantime.

During the months-long lockdown period, a sudden shutdown of industries had led to a drastic improvement of the Yamuna. However, in the last two weeks, fishermen have started spotting polluted foam in the waters. Water wildlife had also returned to the river after it cleaned itself during the lockdown and residents often spotted migratory birds such as Grey Heron, Ibis and Storks flocking near the river.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee study had revealed that compared to the pre-lockdown days, the river was at least 33 per cent cleaner. The committee had also found that the water had improved further downstream near Mathura but after the Unlock phase, the Yamuna has started losing its clarity once again.

Civic body officials have said that if pollution levels are seen rising again, all agencies should come together and devise an action plan for it.

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