Water wars: Yamuna’s ammonia level rises; tussle between Delhi, Haryana govt on who to blame

By: |
December 30, 2020 3:51 PM

The pollution in Yamuna has increased and due to this, there has been frequent disruption to water supply in Delhi.

Haryana government says that Delhi is raising issues quite frequently because the city wants more water to be released in order to meet the growing water demand.

The pollution in Yamuna has increased and due to this, there has been frequent disruption to water supply in Delhi. At least five times so far this, the levels of ammonia had increased which led the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to pull brakes on water production at its plants. Earlier this week, the ammonia levels went up to 7.3 parts per million (ppm) where the acceptable limit is only 0.5 ppm, a report by The IE noted. In this view, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and DJB vice chairman Raghav Chadha put the blame on the Haryana government.

Delhi officials believe that industrial effluents are being released in the river even after the Delhi government has sent repeated reminders to the Haryana government. Chaddha has asked Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to step in and deal with the issue. It is to note that ammonia is an industrial chemical which is used to produce plastics, fertilisers, and dyes along with other products. It is also present naturally in the environment.Whenever the concentration of ammonia is increased beyond the treatment capacity of 0.9 ppm, three out of nine water treatment plants in Delhi stop the water production. These three are located at Chandrawal,Wazirabad and Okhla and whenever water production is stopped, supply to the city is affected.

The report highlighted that this has been an issue between Delhi and Haryana government for long now and every time the concentration of ammonia is increased in Yamuna, the issue is raised again. According to the DJB officials, the increase in pollution level is comparatively more and more frequent this year.The water in Yamuna flows from Haryana to Delhi and Haryana’s Sonipat region (on the banks of Yamuna) has many industrial units. Both Delhi and Haryana governments agree that there is a mixing of two drains where one carries drinking water and the other is taking sewage or industrial waste in Sonipat. These two drains can mix due to damage of the separation wall or overflow. The report said that Haryana’s irrigation department is likely to initiate the process for building a conduit pipeline so the two drains cannot be mixed.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government says that Delhi is raising issues quite frequently because the city wants more water to be released in order to meet the growing water demand. The board is being asked to increase the capacity to treat high levels of ammonia. Proposed level for ammonia treatment is 4ppm.

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