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Will Consider Moving Court Against Haryana Govt over Yamuna Pollution, Says Raghav Chadha

Toxic foam on Yamuna river.

Toxic foam on Yamuna river.

At a meeting with senior DJB officials, Chadha also discussed the feasibility of ozonation plants for treating high levels of ammonia in the river's water.

The Delhi Jal Board will consider moving court against the "apathetic" Haryana government as it is yet to stop the discharge of pollutants into the Yamuna which affect drinking water supply in the national capital, the utility's Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha said on Thursday. At a meeting with senior DJB officials, Chadha also discussed the feasibility of ozonation plants for treating high levels of ammonia in the river's water.

"We can neither depend on the apathetic and undependable Haryana government nor resign to fate. Proactive and preventive steps are a must to ensure that Delhi residents get clean, safe and uninterrupted water," he said. "We also discussed the feasibility of ozonation plants for treating such high levels of ammonia," he said.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will augment its treatment capacities so that it can minimise such issues in the coming years. Work will begin in this regard soon at the Chandrawal and Wazirabad plants, Chadha said. "The DJB will also consider taking legal recourse towards an impassive Haryana government, if this continues We will consider approaching the judiciary to seek justice on behalf of the people of Delhi because of the Haryana government's apathetic and undependable approach and deeds, he said.

High levels of ammonia in the Yamuna have prompted the DJB to reduce or stop water production at its plants at least five times this year. Earlier this week, Chadha had urged the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) to look into the issue.

According to officials, the DJB's water treatment plants can treat up to 0.9 parts per million (ppm) ammonia concentration in the river water. If the ammonia content is higher than this, the raw water is diluted with fresh water from the Upper Ganga Canal or the Munak Canal.

If enough fresh water for dilution is not available, the production capacity of plants is reduced or they are temporarily shut. The DJB said two canals in Haryana — DD-1 and DD-2– carry contaminated water to the Yamuna. DD-2 is also known as dye drain because this canal contains a large amount of dye from industrial units. The two canals meet near Shimla Gujran village in Haryana's Panipat district and merge into the Yamuna near Khojkipur village where ammonia levels often reach up to 40 ppm.

Apart from Carrier Lined Channel (CLC), Delhi Sub-Branch (DSB) and Yamuna, water is also supplied to the city from DD-8 canal. A few kilometres along the DD-8 canal also flows another canal, DD-6, (at Pyau Manhari in Haryana) in which Haryana releases huge amounts of industrial and domestic waste.

These two canals are separated via sand sacks which are mostly in bad shape at many places. As a result, the contaminated water of DD-6 mixes with DD-8 and thus, the ammonia reaches Delhi, the DJB said.

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