Amidst ‘severe’ air pollution, water crisis-cum-pollution adds to the plight of Delhites

NEW DELHI: On November 6, Delhi Jal Board released a notification informing that due to high levels of ammonia concentration in the Yamuna river water supply would be affected in certain parts of Delhi.

Though, the body (DJB) later notified about the restoration of water supply in the affected parts, by tweeting, “UPDATE:
The production at Sonia Vihar, Wazirabad, Bhagirathi and Chandrawal Treatment Plants has been stabilised and it’s currently operating at 100% capacity.”

This is the fourth time in 2021 Delhi underwent a water-crisis. The reasons attributed are many ranging from discharge of industrial effluents to inter-state conflicts.

The fact that capital city faced scarcity/shortage of water supply in the approaching nadir season is a cause of concern. The reason this time is dilution of water of river Yamuna by increasing ammonia content. Raghav Chadha, vice-chairman of DJB blamed the heavy discharge of industrial waste and sewage from Haryana which reduced the treatment capacity of water plants by 50%.

This water-crisis comes at a time when Delhi is undergoing severe air pollution, therefore adding to the plight of Delhites. This festival season remained no more festive.

A decade ago, for an ordinary person pollution was a textbook thing. Now, the pollution and its types walks the talk at every public and private forum as it has become a challenging environmental catastrophe which needs a mutual effort in mitigation on part of both rulers and ruled.

In addition to this, last day of four-days long ‘Chhath Puja’ is scheduled for November 10 (Wednesday) and as a ritual, people celebrating it takes holy bath in river water. River Yamuna is the happening place on this occasion as those in Delhi celebrating the festival takes bath in it.

This year, as aforementioned the river is contaminated with high levels of ammonia and the visuals from today’s ritual are disturbing, which shows people lost in the foam of ammonia.

The only alternative left for Delhites is to modify their way for celebrating this festival as Yamuna is toxic and can have serious health consequences for the people. There is also the need on part of government to develop strong vigilance mechanism to prevent rivers from being contaminated and facilitating technological innovation for cleansing polluted water.

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