The Yamuna River in New Delhi, where the Hindu festival of Chhath Puja takes place, was covered with mounds of snow-white foam on November 8.
According to the authorities, the phenomenon was caused by sewage and industrial waste discharged into the Yamuna River from upstream last week. Pollution has disrupted water supplies to parts of the city, but hasn’t stopped some Hindus from taking a dip in the river to pray to the sun god during the four-day Chhath Puja festival.
“Our team of officers and engineers are working day and night to minimize the impact of water pollution on the people of Delhi,” said Raghav Chadha, vice-president of the city’s water authority. in a statement.
The Yamuna is one of the most polluted waterways in India. Authorities have long pledged to clean up the river, but measures have so far been ineffective. The situation of toxic foam covering the river’s surface gradually became an annual event.
A 2020 government report shows that water quality in the Yamuna River has deteriorated steadily over the past five years, adding to the pressure on the lives of New Delhi residents, who are already suffering from a layer of smog. densely surrounded the city.
The hazardous smog in recent days has been attributed to the burning of farmland by nearby communities and the fireworks display of Diwali by residents of the capital. In some areas, PM 2.5 concentrations were 16 times higher than the daily safe limit set by the World Health Organization.
Doan Duong (Follow AFP)