Tue, 02 Jun 2020

New Delhi [India], April 5 (ANI): The closure of industrial units in Delhi-NCR during the lockdown led to an apparent improvement in water quality of the Yamuna river as the tons of toxic wastes and effluents are no more discharged into it, according to Vice-Chairman of Delhi Jal Board, Raghav Chadha.

"Many industries and offices are closed due to the lockdown these days and therefore the Yamuna is looking cleaner these days. The stoppage of industrial pollutants and industrial waste has definitely had a positive effect on water quality. We will conduct testing of the water to ascertain the percentage of improvement in the quality," Chadha told ANI on Saturday.

The AAP leader said that the results during the lockdown have confirmed his party's hopes that the Yamuna river can be cleaned and added that it could be carried out in the future with the participation of the people.

"The improvement in this period hints that there is a chance for the Yamuna to get cleaned up easily if the people and the government come together. Under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal, we had promised to clean up the Yamuna. The lockdown has shown us that it is possible, however, it will not stay in place forever," he said.

The VC of the Delhi Jal Board further said that he will share the results of the lab testing of the water quality of the river once they are conducted.

Apart from the Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman, people who have been monitoring the situation of the Yamuna river over the years also claimed that there is a definite improvement in water quality.

Imran, a Delhi resident said, "I usually come to the river banks to run and practice gymnastics and have seen a drastic improvement since the lockdown was imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The water in the Yamuna looks much cleaner nowadays."However, with industries shut and people mostly staying indoors, Yamuna is not the only river in the country which witnessed improvement in water quality.

The quality of water in the holy Ganga river has also witnessed a significant improvement of around '40 to 50 percent' since March 24, the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"one-tenth of the pollution in the Ganga river comes from industries. As industries are shut due to lockdown, the situation has become better. We have seen a 40-50 percent improvement in the Ganga. It is a significant development," Dr PK Mishra, Professor at Chemical Engineering and Technology, IIT-BHU, told ANI here.

"Due to rainfall on March 15-16 in areas where Ganga flows, the water level has also increased, which means that its cleaning capacity has also increased. There is a considerable improvement if we look at the pre-lockdown period and after March 24," he added. (ANI)

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