Until last month, we were reading positive stuff about nature reviving under the Coronavirus triggered lockdown across the globe. But now that the restrictions are easing and the government is allowing relaxations, things are once again returning to their old selves. Seems like pollution has come back to Delhi’s Yamuna as toxic foam was noticed flowing on the river’s surface at Okhla Barrage.

Last month, the news of Yamuna River cleaning itself went viral. A number of Indian and migratory birds including storks, Ibis and heron were spotted here. Because of lockdown, all the industrial and commercial activities were shut down in the region. This was the prime reason for the clean water flowing in Yamuna.

But now toxic foams have started building up once again which was noticed by the fishermen in the region, As per Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the river was cleaner by around 33 per cent compared to the pre-lockdown days.

Nirmal Jain, the Mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation told a media agency, “It is the responsibility of the Delhi government to clean the Yamuna river, but if they want and assign us some role for cleaning of the Yamuna river, we will welcome them.”

It was also found that the water quality of the river improved further downstream near Mathura. Last year, several images emerged on the internet of the Chattha Puja showing devotees standing in the water surrounded by toxic foams in Yamuna.

Jai Prakash, the Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation said, “If the pollution level has increased then we have to make a plan to clean the Yamuna. If any responsibility is given to MCD, we will be happy to work to clean the Yamuna. We have to also see that industry operations should also be not disturbed”.

It is true that the Yamuna had healed and cleaned itself during the lockdown, but the return of toxic foams is the sign of beginning of water pollution.

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