Yamuna cleaner amid COVID lockdown: NGT seeks PCB report

Both, CPCB and DPCC have started collecting water samples Monday (April 6).

Pictures of a fuller and cleaner Yamuna on social media, attributing the reduction in pollution levels to lockdown, are making rounds on social media | Twitter

Believe it or not, the 21-day mandatory nationwide lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a good news for Yamuna river as pictures of a fuller and cleaner tributary has taken netizens by storm, pointing towards the reduced pollution levels.

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Even as people are happy to see a froth-free river, the National Green Tribunal-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to submit a report on the water quality in a week.

Both, CPCB and DPCC started collecting water samples on Monday (April 6).

According to media reports, C. R. Babu, professor emeritus at Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, Delhi University, said that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the pollution load in the Yamuna has reduced due to the lockdown.

He said that the quantity of sewage that is discharge into the drains which flow into the Yamuna remains the same, but there is marked reduction in the industrial pollution load, particularly from Haryana.

“But I have doubts that Yamuna got cleaned during the lockdown. For the river to clean itself in 10 days, it needs a huge amount of water,” he said.

On the contrary, few pictures on Twitter also show the pollution load in the river has not reduced significantly as being claimed, with thin layers of toxic foam still floating on its surface.