55-years old Hindu Monk, Sanjay Gir says he does not remember when for the last time he noticed India’s Yamuna so clean, that passes through the national capital. As coronavirus upends daily human activities, Yamuna is regaining it’s lost the spark.
The Yamuna is one of India’s most polluted rivers. Part of the filth comes from the highly industrial belt the river crosses. And part of the pollution comes from different human activities including religious. However, one of the world’s strictest lockdown has shown it’s silver lining through the many rivers in India that have considerably cleaned since March 2020.
“Ever since the lockdown, we can take Mother Yamuna’s water in our hands and offer it for prayer, as well as drink it,” a 55-years old Hindu Monk told Reuters. He credits the lockdown and closed-off industries for this transformation, which the Indian government could not achieve for decades.
Anshuman Jaiswal of city research body the Energy and Resources Institute too added to Gir’s claim. The lockdown since March has kept the industrial waste at bay. However, Jaiswal is worried that the river will lead back to its ugly state as soon as the lockdown is lifted. India currently has 273k confirmed novel coronavirus cases and more than 66k deaths.
The Yamuna is a perennial river originating in the Himalayas. The river stretches all way from the glaciers, traveling some 1376 km (855 miles) through a clutter of north Indian states before finally discharging in Ganga in Allahabad to form the Mythical Saraswati.
Ganga is the nation’s most polluted river, but after decades, the river’s water was found to be fit for human consumption, research by the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee found, New Indian Express reports. 22 drains that deposits into the river have sealed owing to lockdown.
“Tests conducted by our scientists and experts revealed that water of the river Ganga from Devprayag to Har ki Pairi falls under ‘A’ category defined by Central Pollution Control Board. This means that water is fit for drinking,” Absar Ahmed Khan, HOD of Environmental Engineering told.
(Cover image source: Commons)