New Delhi: At least 22 km of Yamuna stretch in Delhi contains more than 90% of pollution load and we are sounding helpless to clean the same, said Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti here today.
Shekhawat added, Like Swachh Bharat Mission, the cleaning of rivers including Yamuna, Ganga and its tributaries would be taken up in a mission mode under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The minister was participating in a ‘Cleanathon’ event under Namami Gange at the Kalindi Kunj Ghat near Okhla Barrage. It was carried out at 8 ghats in the national capital.
UP Singh, secretary, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation said that a river is a river which must flow, but sadly this is not true for the Yamuna. Community engagement is a must for taking the Yamuna to its past pristine glory. People of Delhi had so far not felt the Yamuna as one of their own heritage, and hence the plight of the river.
Earlier, a committee found in a report that although the Yamuna river flows only for 54 kilometres from Palla to Badarpur through Delhi, the 22-km stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla, which is less than 2% of the river length of 1370 kilometres from Yamunotri to Prayagraj, accounts for about 76% of the pollution level in the riverî. This 2% stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla sees the maximum discharge of untreated industrial and domestic wastes.
Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria said that the government is well aware of its responsibilities towards cleaning of rivers and he is happy that slowly this is also taking the shape of a mass movement like the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Apart from Ganga, Yamuna, Kali Bhagirathi, Alaknanda and Koshi will be brought under the Cleanathon project, he added.
However, Shekhawat said that the government could only be a catalyst, but to realise the dream and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Aviral Dhara, Nirmal Dhara and Swachh Kinara, the Cleanathon project should truly become a mass movement. The government is working on the project by adopting the Basin Approach, which is more sustainable.
When Prime Minister took a broom in his hand while launching the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014, it became a mass movement and access to toilets became from 39% in 2014 to 99% in 2019. Similarly, under his leadership the cleaning of river Ganga and its tributaries would be taken up in a mission mode, the minister summed up.