Kosi Drain biggest polluter of Yamuna in Vrindavan

The overflowing drain is carrying sewage from many smaller drains into the river in addition to its own contribution which stands out for exceeding the capacity of the STP installed to take care of it. The menace is fast spiraling out of control.

Kosi drain merging in Yamuna

Vrindavan, 2021-09-23 (Vrindavan Today News): The Yamuna is in trouble once again. Breaching all treatment protocols, the menace – better known as Kosi Drain – is carrying into the river not just its own sewage, but also that of other smaller drains that are all overflowing in to it on account of the seasonal rain.

Although one may be tempted to assume that this is a temporary seasonal phenomenon, the truth is that the monsoons, every year, expose in a big way the failings of the government’s and administration’s blueprint, execution as well the intention to save the Yamuna. Not only is their set-up incompetent in combating the present situation, it also speaks volumes about how the ill-conceived plan has not factored in exigencies including the inevitable growth of the city’s population. Given the offhandedness with which government projects are carried out, perhaps working on a long-term vision was never part of plan.

It may be noted here that there are two Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Vrindavan, one behind the 100-bed hospital and the other near Pagal Baba Mandir, and three in Mathura – one at Prem Mahavidyalaya and two on the other side of the river. One of the two plants flanking the river is relatively new and is being upgraded. According to the authorities who claim to be have been working on a “war-footing”, especially during the lockdown, the task is expected to complete next month. The ground reality is however far from assuring of the stated timeline.

Kosi drain flowing through the fields

Activists associated with the movement to save Yamuna have long been demanding an upstream treatment facility for the Kosi drain, but in vain. 19 small drains in Mathura and 18 in Vrindavan are named in the multiple petitions that have been filed in various courts as accomplices of the Kosi Drain. While the administration says that 35 of these have been tapped and are in various stages of upgradation and repair, the activists not only have their reservations regarding the authenticity of these claims but they also point out the bigger problem of there being no system in place to stop/manage the overflow. In fact, the overflowing Kosi Drain alone has more capacity than the plant installed for treating its sewage; add to it the contribution of the 37 smaller ones.

Yamuna activists have also pointed out that despite tall claims regarding upgrading of treatment facilities there is not even a DPR prepared for the Mausum Nagar and Koyla Alipur Zones. Work is on only at the Trans Yamuna and Masani zones, and yet nothing has been able to stop the Masani drain for emptying into the river during the rainy season. Busting pompous assertions made by the authorities, they also said that the Swami Ghat Pumping Station has been ineffective in this regard.  

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