Concerned over the issue of increasing ammoniacal nitrogen, a toxic pollutant, in the Yamuna, pollution watchdog CPCB formed a study group on Tuesday to monitor the ammonia levels in the river.
The decision was taken at a meeting held by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday with the officials of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee(DPCC), the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the irrigation and water resources department, Haryana and the irrigation and flood control department, Delhi to discuss the recurring issue of a rise in the ammoniacal nitrogen levels in the Yamuna and the short and long-term remedial actions required.
"A study group comprising officials of the DJB, the HSPCB, the DPCC, the irrigation and water resources department, Haryana and the irrigation and flood control department, Delhi has been constituted. "The group will review the uniform monitoring protocol and the requirement of strengthening the monitoring mechanism, analyse past data and carry out a field survey to identify critical hotspots as well as the period of high ammonia levels," official sources said.
The study group will also suggest short and long-term measures for sustained solutions and submit its report within a month. It was also decided at the meeting to form a joint surveillance squad comprising officials of the DJB, the DPCC, the irrigation and flood control department, Delhi, the HSPCB and the irrigation and water resources department, Haryana.
Ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N) is a measure for the amount of ammonia, a toxic pollutant often found in landfill leachate and waste products such as sewage, liquid manure and other liquid organic waste products. The sources said it was agreed at the meeting that the possible reasons for the increasing ammonia levels could be discharge of untreated sewage from upstream towns in Haryana, discharge from industrial units, common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) and sewage treatment plants (STPs), illegal discharge of sewage from unsewered colonies in outer Delhi through tankers, a lean flow in the river and an anaerobic decomposition of the sludge accumulated on the riverbed.