India: Yamuna River contaminated by toxic foam amid Delhi pollution crisis

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The Yamuna River near Delhi is covered by a white foam created by critical air pollution levels as large parts of northern India are experiencing a pollution crisis, as footage filmed on Friday shows.

“Many drink this water without knowing the consequences. Due to this pollution, both humans and animals are being affected. We are scared,” said one local.

As the situation has worsened, impacting water bodies in the area, Hindu devotees were forced to bathe in the toxic foam to offer prayers and gratitude to the sun god on the occasion of Chhath Puja.

“In this area, there are many factories, places like Batla house, Nizamuddin and Jamuna Bazaar are full of factories. All these factories are inside Delhi and are polluting the Yamuna River,” explained one resident as fisherman Ram Nandilal added that “whoever drinks this water is getting sick and many children in our area are having health issues drinking this water.”

Nandilal said fisherman are not able to work and he accused the government of “not doing anything to keep the river clean.”

Despite Yamuna River carrying three-quarters of Delhi’s drinking water needs, some industries have been dumping toxic waste into its water daily. In 2014 the Namami Gange Mission was approved by the government to combat pollution and to aid conservation and rejuvenation of the river as a flagship programme, but it could not stop the soaring pollution.

On November 2 Indian authorities declared a public health emergency in Delhi ruling the situation so bad that schools had to be shut down and the number of cars permitted on the road was limited.

Video ID: 20191108-060

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