On Monday, 8 November, Delhi blamed Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as the Yamuna was turned white by toxic foams, which affected the water supplies in the national capital.
Raghav Chadha, the Vice Chairman of Delhi Jal Board, said despite several repeated appeals to treat the toxic water before it is released into the Yamuna has gone unheard.
The foam arose from the release of detergents and untreated chemicals into the Yamuna from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
On Monday, videos of several people went viral as they were seen making Chhath Puja offerings and bathing in the toxic foamy water.
The Vice-Chairman, Mr. Chadha, had stated that these photos and videos were taken from the Okhla barrage, which comes under the Irrigation Department of the Uttar Pradesh government.
Mr. Raghav Chadha further said that it is important to know from where the foam comes into the Yamuna. He said that from the Okhla barrage, about 154 million gallons per day (MGD) of water come into the river.
He further explained that out of this 154 MGD water, 105 MGD of water which comes from Najafgarh drain is released in the Yamuna by the Haryana government.
At the same time, about 50 MGD of Ganga water from the Shahdara drain is sent by the government of Uttar Pradesh.
Raghav Chadha further added that the water contains many types of chemicals, detergents, and industry dirt, and when this water is released from a height, the foam is created in the water during this process.
He also said that the government of Delhi has appealed to the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana that the water discharged into the Yamuna should be treated and cleaned before release.
Raghav further added that there are many technologies to prevent foam formation, and such types of machines were sent to the government of Uttar Pradesh by the government of Delhi alongside many suggestions on how to deal with the situation. Still, to date, no steps have been taken by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The Delhi Jal Board has said that the pumping from the water treatment plants such as Bhagirathi, Wazirabad, Chandrawal, Sonia Vihar, and Okhla was affected from Sunday.
During the Chhath Puja, the pictures of people dipping in the foam have become a flashpoint between Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the opposition BJP.