NEERI finds untreated effluent discharge in Yamuna

2023.02.18 (Vrindavan Today News): A team from the National Environment Research Institute (NEERI) carried out an inspection of the Yamuna River in Mathura-Vrindavan in presence of the noted environmentalist and Eminent Supreme Court lawyer M.C. Mehta.

The team was shocked to see the pathetic state of the river in Mathura-Vrindavan. They discovered the effluent of untreated sewer were being emptied into the river. The sight of the dead animal carcasses lying in the river made the team alarmed and it became seriously concerned about the future of Yamuna.

The untreated effluent discharged in Yamuna and dead animal bodies found in it called for immediate action to ensure the safety of the river and its inhabitants. The team held discussions with the responsible agencies, operators, and officers of Jal Nigam and Municipal Corporation, indicating the gravity of the situation at hand. This inspection highlights the dire need for more efficient measures to curb the pollution of the river and protect the local ecology.

Despite the government’s efforts and spending of more than Rs 450 crore on the Namami Gange Scheme, which aimed to curb the inflow of sewage water into the Yamuna River, the situation remains bleak. The inspection team, led by NEERI’s director and environmentalist MC Mehta, discovered that the Masani drain was discharging untreated sewage into the river.  The sewer was overflowing due to the lack of maintenance of the Sewage Pumping Station.  The team found that the pipe of the Sewage Pumping Station was broken and the sewage was leaking from it.

Effluent being discharged in Yamuna

The team from NEERI collected the sample of water from Yamuna and sent it for testing, as it will submit the inspection report to the Highcourt. The Samples were taken from the Masani drain, and the team also visited Mokshadham (crematorium), where they found the condition unsatisfactory. The machinery, which was worth million of rupees, were unoperational, indicating that the organization responsible for its maintenance was not functioning effectively.  These findings raise questions about the effectiveness of the government’s initiatives in tackling the issue of sewage water inflow into the Yamuna River.

The environmentalists have raised serious concerns about the lack of proper arrangements made for the purification of the Yamuna river water. They emphasized that the drain should be cleaned on time, and the drain water should go through the sewerage treatment plant to ensure the river water remains unpolluted.

It should be noted that a Public Interest Litigation was filed in 1998 by Yamuna enthusiast Shri Gopeshwar Nath Chaturvedi to prevent the pollution in River Yamuna that led to the implementation of an action plan to treat the sewerage before pouring it into the river.

Over Rs 460 crore has been spent on the work since then, yet the problem persists, and dirty water continues to flow into the Yamuna river. This failure has raised questions about the effectiveness of the Namami Gange scheme, which, as mentioned above, aimed to prevent sewage water from getting into the Yamuna River. The issue remains a significant challenge for the authorities to tackle, and immediate action is needed to prevent further harm to the river and its ecosystem.

The team also visited Mokshdham at Vanshi vat area in Vrindavan. It discovered numerous issues related to the facility’s operation and maintenance. Dead animals were found inside the drain, and most of the furnaces were found un-operational. The team raised questions about the operation of the crematorium and the people responsible for its upkeep.

The crematorium was renovated in 2018, at a cost of approximately one and a half crores, and in February 2021, machinery worth three and a half crores was installed for the development, construction, and operation of the crematorium using cow dung logs. Despite the provision of free service, complaints were received about extortion of money under the guise of the cost of wood.

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