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Why it is necessary to save yamuna river

It originates from Yamunotri glaciers in the lower Himalayas at an elevation of approximately 6387 meters. The barrages formed on the river are playing a major role in escalating the river pollution.

River can be divided into five segments on the bases of hydrological and ecological conditions. Water quality of only one segment Himalayan segment meets the river water quality standards. Normally no water is allowed to flow downstream of the Himalayan segment Tejewala barrage especially in the summer and winter seasons to fulfill the demand of water of the surrounding area. Whatever water flows in the downstream of the Tajewala barrage is the untreated or partially treated domestic and Industrial wastewater contributed through various drains.

Protect Rivers: A bottom-up approach is key to conservation and cleaning efforts

The discharge of untreated domestic and industrial effluents have severely affected the quality of Yamuna River and now it falls under the category E, which makes it fit only for recreation and industrial cooling, completely ruling out the possibility for underwater life and domestic supply.

Almost every year mass death of fishes is reported. Pollution levels in the Yamuna River have risen. Biochemical oxygen demand BOD load has increased by 2. The Yamuna has been reduced to a small stream, draining industrial effluents, sewage, dirt and other toxic substances.

There is an urgent need to take stringent measures to alleviate these pollution loads and save an ailing river. Its total length is around 1370 kilometers. River Tons and Giri are the important tributaries of Yamuna and principle source of water in mountainous ranges. World famous cities like Delhi, Mathura and Agra lie on its banks.

On the basis of hydrological and ecological conditions Yamuna has been classified into five segments that are Himalayan Segment, Upper Segment, Delhi Segment, Eutriphicated Segment and Diluted Segment [1]. Table 1 and Figure 1 show the area covered under these segments, while table 2 shows the state wise land use pattern of the catchment area of river Yamuna. After origin Yamuna river flows through several valleys for about 200 km in lower Himalayas and emerges into Indo-Gangetic Plains.

In the Himalayan Segment from Yamunotri Glacier to Tajewala Barrage the river water quality is good and it meets all the standards also. Generally no water is allowed to flow in the down-stream of the Taje-wala Barrage especially during summers and winters to fulfill the water demand of Table 1.

Different segments of the river Yamuna [1]. Shows the different segments of river Yamuna. Due to this the river remains dry in many areas between Tajewala and Delhi. Whatever water flows between Tajewala Barrage and Delhi of the river is the untreated or partially treated domestic and industrial effluents discharge by several drains.

The Yamuna water is again trapped by Wazirabad barrage for the domestic supply of water to Delhi. Usually no water or extremely little water is allowed to flow downstream of this barrage during lean seasons. There is another barrage Okhla barrage 22 km downstream of Wazirabad barrage this segment is called Delhi segment and it receives water from seventeen sewage drains of Delhi, Najafgarh drain. It is considered as the most polluted segment of Yamuna River. From this segment Yamuna water is diverted into Agra canal for irrigation.

Delhi’s Yamuna River — a catastrophe in the making

River water is not allowed to flow downstream during summers; beyond the Okhla barrage whatever water flow in Yamuna River is the domestic and industrial wastewater generated from east Delhi, Noida and Sahibabad and joins the river through Shahdara drain.

At the upstream of Mathura Gokul barrage is also decreasing the flow and thereby polluting the river. Yamuna river after receiving water through other important tributaries joins the river Ganga and the underground Saraswati at Prayag Allahabad after traversing about 950 km [1].

Yamuna River passing through 22 km in Delhi was once described as the lifeline of the city, but today it has become one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. The pollution of the Yamuna River from domestic discharges from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Mathura and Agra has rendered the river unfit for any use. In Delhi around 3296 MLD million litres per day of sewage by virtue of drains out falling in Yamuna and approximately 3.

Because of the Table 2. State wise land use pattern of river Yamuna catchment area source: According to the latest status of water quality in India 2007 released by CPCB the Yamuna water quality at Okhla and Nizamudin bridges has been described as the worst affected. As per data on water quality of water bodies and groundwater locations; it was placed seventh on the list of rivers with highest Biochemical Oxygen Demand BODone of the most important indicators of pollution.

The Yamuna is widely worshipped by devotees in India. A few centuries ago it prompted the Mughals to build one of their most magnificent monuments; the Taj Mahal on its bank; but today it has been reduced to a pale and stinking drain. About 57 million people depend on Yamuna River water. Available water treatment facilities are not capable of removing the pesticide traces. Waterworks laboratories cannot even detect them.

Downstream, at Mathura and Agra, this becomes the main municipal drinking water source. Here, too, existing treatment facilities are not capable of detecting pollutants contained by river water. Thus, consumers in Mathura and Agra ingest unknown amounts of toxic pesticide residues each time they drink water. In Agra and Matura districts, the domestic and industrial users produce large quantities of waste products and the waterways provide a cheap and effective way of disposing them.

Apart from that, water is discharged in Yamuna from Gokul barrage and Keetham Lake, 28 km upstream from Agra. Mathura refinery lifts raw water directly why it is necessary to save yamuna river Mathura canal, which acts as a feeder source for Keetham Lake.

The water, which is released from the refinery, also seems to pollute Yamuna. During dry weather, the flow of Yamuna River consists why it is necessary to save yamuna river entirely of effluents. The degree of pollution of Yamuna can be assed from an incident recounted below.

On 13th June 2002, thousands of dead and dying fishes were found strewn over the Sikendra Taj Mahal area along the water body. Reports of more fish deaths poured in from Bateshwar, about 78 km from Poiya Ghat in Agra figure 2.

  1. After Wazirabad the DO level starts decreasing drastically and Table 3. The maximum concentration of BHC 5517.
  2. Because of the Table 2.
  3. Deterioration of river water quality may injure health of the people taking the dip and also the population downstream which use the river as a source of water for drinking and bathing purposes.
  4. Considered as sources of life in a largely agrarian country, rivers have cultural, spiritual and religious connotations.
  5. In Delhi river water is black and it hardly flows.

Such incidents are common; almost every year mass death of fishes is reported in Yamuna River [7]. Approximately 75 percent of precipitation in Yamuna basin occurs during the four monsoon months of June, July, August and September. This affects the river flow as well as the river water quality up to some extent. The demand of fresh water has been continuously increasing with growing population and increase in agricultural and industrial activities. Majority of the demand of water of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states is met by Yamuna, which has already become a sewerage drain.

This paper aims to discuss the most prominent reasons of Yamuna river pollution and easily feasible and economically feasible measures to prevent further pollution and improve the river water quality. Shows the sites of maximum pollution and mass death of fishes reported in Agra and Mathura districts [7].

Yamuna Water Quality Status 2. Yamuna Water Quality Status at Different Locations River water quality can be assessed by the analysis of nutrients, chemistry, and biology. India River water qualities have been categories in five classes http: The River water is fit for drinking after proper disinfection with the addition of chlorine or bleaching powder.

Under this category the river water is fit only for bathing.

Save Yamuna: Spiritual Significance of the Yamuna

The River water is fit for drinking only after proper treatment screening to remove physical matters or particulate such as paper, plastic, etc. Under this class the river water is fit only for fish and wildlife and Class E: River water is suitable only for industrial cooling, irrigation, etc. Yamuna River belongs to class E [2].

Since 1975, there had been rapid urbanization, Industrialization and agricultural development in Yamuna basin, which have directly or indirectly affected the Yamuna water quality. Yamuna water quality is also affected by the six barrages in the river.

Table 3 shows the diversion of Yamuna Water at various places all along its length.

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These barrages blocked the flow of the river and formed the lotic flowing environment. Generally most of the sludge get deposited at upstream of the barrages. This settled polluted materials moves to downstream along with sudden release of water from the barrages and increases the why it is necessary to save yamuna river pollution. Biological Oxygen Demand BOD It measures the rate of oxygen used by biological organisms in the water body to decompose the organic matter polluted by sewerage or industrial effluents.

It is caused by the presence of high level of organic pollutants and nitrate in water body. Up to Palla Yamuna is full of marine life, but beyond that wastewater drains outfall in Yamuna started. Beyond Palla Yamuna River starts receiving large amount of wastewaters from different drain within Delhi and many downstream locations. After Wazirabad the DO level starts decreasing drastically and Table 3. Average dissolved oxygen in Yamuna river [9].

Figure 4 shows the average DO levels in Yamuna River at different locations. The maximum concentration of chromium 7. Apart from the heavy metals the presence of pesticides in Yamuna is also common.

The maximum concentration of BHC 5517. Whereas the maximum concentration of Aldrin 213. The sources of pesticides in the Yamuna seem to be agriculture activities common in the river catchment area as well as also along the bank of the river.

Almost every year mass death of fishes is reported from these locations and right now the situation is that rarely the existence of fishes is reported in Yamuna River between Delhi to Agra.

The water quality status of some of the important parameters is shown in Tables 4 and 5. This situation has arisen despite the huge investments made by subsequent governments in cleaning them up.

Save Yamuna, the Holy River

As a result, our survival and that of rivers is at stake. Average biochemical oxygen in Yamuna river [9]. Water quality ranges of some of the parameters in Yamuna River [9]. The pollution in the Yamuna River is continuously escalating and the river water is unfit for any use. There are serious water quality problems in the, cities, towns and villages using Yamuna rivers as a source of their water and the Yamuna is under serious threat from unprecedented escalation in urbanization and industrialization.

The major sources of pollution in Yamuna river are: The River water Table 5.