December 12, 2017
Latest News

India's sacred river now a sewer despite expensive cleaning plans

New Delhi, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- As dawn broke on Tuesday, the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian capital was deserted save for a couple of men who braved the early morning chill and shaved their heads, a Hindu ritual in India following a parent's death, and took a dip in the dark hued water of the river, one of India's major rivers and once a lifeline of its capital, but also one of its most polluted despite decades of expensive cleaning campaigns.

The river, a mass of white toxic foam, as waste from ritual bathing, industrial and agricultural runoff, as well as untreated sewage are dumped into it daily, is now frequently described as a dead river or a sewer.

"The river is too polluted, but I don't think people who come here think about it that much because most of them are not so aware," Prashant Prasad, 34, who had come to the river for rituals with his family told EFE.

The 1,376 kilometers (855 miles) long river that flows through the Indian capital and the neighboring city of Agra of Taj Mahal fame, is considered to be one of the most sacred rivers in India and hence is a popular destination for Indians, especially during Hindu festivals, whose rituals are often intrinsically linked to flowing water.

The pollution in the river began to escalate alarmingly in the 70s due to greater industrial activities and intensive pesticide usage, environment expert Manoj Misra, who since 2013 has obtained several court rulings in favor of the river's protection, told EFE.

Ever since 2002, after the construction of a dam 200 kilometers to the north of Delhi, when 99 percent of the river's water was diverted to two irrigation canals, the river has been dead and devoid of aquatic life, added Misra.

In 2015, India's National Green Tribunal had also described the Yamuna as a sewer, adding that decades of efforts, including three recovery projects under the Yamuna Action Plan that cost some 420 million euros ($497 million), failed to improve the quality of the river's water.

Minister of State for Water Resources Vijay Goel, in a written response to the Parliament in July, had attributed the pollution to inadequate flow "due to over extraction of surface and groundwater and discharge of untreated effluent."

He had added his ministry was providing assistance to states, through which the river flows, in a phased manner since 1993 under the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP).

The first two phases of the Yamuna Action Plan were launched in 1993 and 2003, with a budget of around 200 million euros, and the third phase was started in 2013 with a budget of around 220 million euros.

The construction of water treatment plants and sewers had formed an important part of these plans, but in most cases the construction of the plants never took off.

The Delhi Jal Board, a government agency responsible for managing sewage in the Indian capital, had told the NGT in October that they were yet to start the construction of 17 water treatment plants that were part of the latest clean campaign.

Alok K. Sikka, India Representative at the International Water Management Institute, told EFE that the problem is that only 46 percent of Delhi has a sewage system and plants which receive the wastes function at barely 40 percent of their capacities.

The remaining 54 percent ends up in septic tanks before they are recovered and dumped directly into the Yamuna, said Krishna Rao, another member of IWMI.

The pollution in the Yamuna river is directly linked to a lack of toilets in the country and can be addressed with the help of the flagship Clean India Campaign that aims to install a toilet in every Indian home, he added.

News history
Venezuela AG's office opens criminal probe into ex-oil minister

Caracas, Dec 12 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's attorney general said here Tuesday that his office had opened a criminal investigation into a former oil minister...

Mall operator Westfield agrees to $15.7-billion takeover by European rival

Sydney, Dec 12 (EFE).- Westfield Corp., the Australian operator of marquee malls from California to New York's World Trade Center, agreed to a $15.7-billion...

Forties pipeline system carrying Brent crude in UK to be shut for weeks

London, Dec 12 (EFE).- One of Europe's most important oil pipeline systems will be shut down for a matter of weeks, said owner Ineos, sending a jolt into...

Snow, ice forces cancellation of dozens of flights in Brussels, Amsterdam

Brussels, Dec 12 (efe-epa).- Wintry conditions across northwestern Europe caused major travel disruptions on Tuesday, with airports in Brussels and...

OPEC crude basket rises to $61.94

Vienna, Dec 12 (efe-epa).- The basket of crude oil used as a benchmark indicator by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased to $61.94,...

China's BAIC to stop making fuel-powered vehicles by 2025

Beijing, Dec 12 (efe-epa).- Chinese state-owned car manufacturer BAIC Motor said it will phase out the production of conventional fuel-powered vehicles by...

Tokyo metro tests app to help pregnant women find seats

Tokyo, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The Tokyo Metro and two Japanese telecom companies on Monday started testing a pioneering messaging application to help pregnant...

Car sales growth remained stagnant in China in November

Beijing, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- Car sales growth in China remained stagnant at 2.59 million units in November, similar to the same month previous year, the...

OPEC crude basket rises to $61.03

Vienna, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The basket of crude oil used as a benchmark indicator by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased to $61.03,...

Bitcoin prices climb over 10 percent post stock exchange debut

Tokyo, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The price of bitcoin rose over 10 percent to 1.99 million yen ($17,594), coinciding with its futures debut on a major United...

AIIB grants $250 million loan to China to reduce coal use

Beijing, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Monday announced a loan of $250 million to China to reduce its dependence on coal by...

WTO ministerial conference begins in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization kicked off on Sunday in Buenos Aires with a special...

WTO ministerial conference begins in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization kicked off on Sunday in Buenos Aires with a special...

Head World Bank economist expects LatAm to continue growing in 2019

Montevideo, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The World Bank's chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Uruguay's Carlos Vegh, said he was optimistic regarding...

Argentina: submarine undersea search zone is like inverted mountain chain

Buenos Aires, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The Argentine navy said Sunday that the search zone for the ARA San Juan, the submarine that went missing 25 days ago in...

Trump: Tax reform getting closer

Miami, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Sunday that the tax reform Congress is working on is getting closer and closer and that its final...

Former CEO becomes 6th Lafarge executive charged with financing IS in Syria

Paris, Dec 9. (efe-epa).- A former CEO of the French Lafarge Group (now merged with the Swiss corporation Holcim) was charged late Friday night by French...

Chinese inflation rises 1.7 percent year-on-year in November

Beijing, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- China's consumer price index, the main indicator of inflation, rose 1.7 percent year-on-year in November, the National Bureau of...

Venezuela says more than $3 bn frozen due to sanctions

Caracas, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's government said Friday that sanctions the United States imposed in August had left it with more than $3 billion in...

Danish shipping giant Maersk to boost presence in Latin America

Cartagena, Colombia, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Danish shipping giant Maersk Line said Friday in this northern Colombian port city that its recent acquisition of...

EC concerned by Lufthansa's monopoly risk if Air Berlin purchase goes ahead

Brussels, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- The European Union's Competition Commissioner expressed on Friday the European Commission's deep concern that German airline...

Brazil's Petrobras seeks inclusion on stock market transparent-company list

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Brazilian state oil company Petrobras, which is taking a series of anti-corruption steps in the wake of a massive graft...

Putin inaugurates massive Artic liquefied natural gas refinery

Sabetta, Russia, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- The President of Russia inaugurated on Friday a massive Liquefied Natural Gas refinery in the Artic, one of the largest...

US unemployment rate holds steady at 4.1 pct. in November

Washington, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- The United States' headline unemployment rate came in at 4.1 percent in November, unchanged from the previous month, while the...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.