By Himanshu Chauhan:
It is an alarming fact that our society many a times avoids and ignores some of the most afflicting truths that loom around us and carry potential for creating dire situations. Just because it requires us to move out of our comfortable zone and does not seem like an immediate threat we have become passive and prefer either to look away or shut our eyes when the reality confronts us.
One such issue is the catastrophically and long-lasting damage that has been done to the river Yamuna. Statistical conclusions, arguments, debates and researches are known to all and it is an undisputed reality that Yamuna is so polluted that water is not even fit for industrial use leave aside the factor of potability.
The real dilemma is the blame game that public, government and responsible authorities play while dealing with the issue.
Delhi is the most guilty culprit city in accordance to environmental criminal conduct against the river. According to the White Paper released by the environment ministry and other government findings, though Delhi only consists of 2% of the catchment of Yamuna it is the lone contributor for 80% of the total pollutants load. Report in NCT of Delhi shows that domestic sewage consists of about 94% of all sewage dumped. The quality of water when it enters Delhi from Palla is already sub-standard but is fit for some human use like bathing and is 217 times polluted than the prescribed norms. But when this water exits Delhi the level reaches staggering and sanity-defying 1.39 lakhs times to normal.
Untreated and partially treated sewage, pollutants from farmlands, toxic industrial discharge from industrial units and the statistics are enough to confirm that the very soul of Yamuna is molested. It is a tragedy that this is done to the same river on whose banks major part of the northern Indian population has flourished.
There are volumes of graphs, bar-charts and figures shouting similar cries but I will just make my reader uncomfortable with child-like questions and un-escapable answers.
Who is to blame? Humans.Â Why? Because not only have we ignored the problem but have even failed have even failed to validate the facts implying a passive temperament when we have to move in a hard, inconvenient and self-blaming picture.
What is the solution? The only solution is that we accept our criminal conduct not only towards Yamuna alone but towards all other instabilities that we have caused in nature and responsibly modify our living, keeping in mind an aim that when we introduce our next generation to this planet we provide them a world better than in what we were born socially, ethically and environmentally.
Who will suffer? We and all who depend on it.
Yamuna is just not a river but the reason of all the settlement that surround it. Sidelining all the ethical, sacred and holy versions of explanations of why we need to conserve our rivers and come to direct terms with survival-“even if we somehow survive the death of Yamuna, life would be nothing less than a terrible dream.”
Additional reading: Water Crisis And The Need For River Restoration.