Yamuna Pollution: Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will start spraying anti-foaming chemicals at Kalindi Kunj in Delhi from Thursday as Chhath Puja is just a few days away. Chhath Puja, which will be held from November 17-20, sees a large number of worshippers on the Yamuna, causing visible pollution.
The Delhi government has been trying temporary measures to manage the froth in the Yamuna at the Okhla barrage to save itself from embarrassment.
Last year, DJB used a de-foaming agent to manage the situation, which was found to be safe for humans and effective in reducing the foam.
This year, a makeshift plant was set up on Wednesday and the spraying of anti-foaming chemicals will start from Thursday onwards. The chemical is safe and will bring down the foam floating on the river during Chhath Puja, according to a DJB official.
To oversee the implementation of froth-control measures during Chhath Puja, the National Mission for Clean Ganga constituted a six-member committee of all stakeholders, including officials of the Upper Yamuna River Board, the UP irrigation department, Delhi Jal Board, Irrigation and Flood Control, Delhi, and Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
DJB has, in the past, knocked on the doors of the National Green Tribunal-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee regarding the surfactants.
The committee was informed that Uttar Pradesh and Haryana would release a large amount of untreated wastewater into the Yamuna.
According to DJB, water filled with surfactants such as phosphates falls in Kalindi Kunj from a height and produces foam, which gradually accumulates and floats to the surface.
While the foam is visible on the surface of the river throughout the year, it is more in focus during Chhath Puja, forcing authorities to react to the situation.
The DJB officials will conduct more tests this year to determine whether the same chemical used last year can be used as a long-term measure over a year, as it helped increase the oxygen in the river.
This may improve the health of the river in the future. However, there is still concern that small-scale industries also release wastewater into the river, which makes managing the froth situation a challenge for various authorities.