River Pollution | Centre for Science and Environment

Work Overview

With growing urbanisation and industralisation India faces the challenge of providing clean and safe drinking water to all citizens. In the name of economic growth most rivers and streams are turning into sewers. As more and more rivers are getting polluted, the municipalities are finding it difficult to treat river water to safe levels and supply it to citizens.

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How to Clean the Yamuna

While the Delhi government has been debating on what needs to be done to clean the river, the pollution levels have only worsened.

In its book Sewage Canal: How to Clean the Yamuna, published in 2007, the Centre for Science and Environment reported that the Delhi stretch of the river is not only dead but had an overload of coliform contamination. Two years later, the pollution data shows no respite to the river.

The 22-km stretch of the Yamuna, which is barely 2 per cent of the length of the river basin, continues to contribute over 80 per cent of the pollution load in the entire stretch of the river. There is also no water in the river for virtually nine months. Delhi, impounds water at the barrage constructed at Wazirabad where the river enters Delhi. What flows in the river subsequently is only sewage and waste from Delhi’s 22 drains. In other words, the river ceases to exist at Wazirabad. 

This also means that there is just no water available to dilute the waste. The issue of a basic minimum flow in the river has been discussed time and again, but with water becoming more and more scare and contested, Delhi’s upstream neighbours are reluctant to release water. Delhi itself is water greedy and sucks up each  drop that is released as its share. The river is then reduced to a drain for the filth and waste of the city’s inhabitants.

Read more

  Reviving our river  
  Source: Times of India  
  :: Change flush-&-forget mindset, cry for Yamuna  
  :: Reduce water demand & wastage to revive river  
  Blogs: Sunita Narain  
  :: From water to water  
  :: Excreta's economy: a true experience  

:: Making water-excreta accounts

  :: Waste, by any other name...  
  :: Review of the interceptor plan for the Yamuna  
  :: State of pollution in the Yamuna  
  :: About Yamuna. But not just Yamuna  
  :: Sewage canal: How to clean the Yamuna  
  :: Faecal Attraction: Political Economy of Defecation  



Sewage Canal: How to Clean the Yamuna

Several crore rupess have been sunk into plans to clean up the Yamuna. The authorities have been busy chasing targets to fulfill these plans. But the river remains dirty. This book analyses the strategies adopted to clean up the Yamuna, one of India's holiest and dirtiest rivers.

Down To Earth

Ganga and the environmental flow

While going up the meandering road from Tehri to the holy town Gangotri during the thick of monsoon, the Bhagirathi appeared to get uneasily quieter with each hairpin bend; until Chinyali Sor village near Dharasu, 45 km from new Tehri town.

Contact Address

  Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla
  Programme Director
  Email: srohilla@cseindia.org
  Dr. Deblina Dwivedi
  Senior Research Associate
  Email: deblina@cseindia.org
  Mob: +91-9899596661

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