The Kejriwal government is working on a war footing to clean the Yamuna in Delhi by 2025. To clean any big river like Yamuna , it is necessary to clean its drains and tributaries. In such a situation, several initiatives have been taken by the Delhi government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal to improve the quality of water in the drains falling into the Yamuna. For this, Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj has prepared a 5-point action plan with the aim of clearing the main drains of Delhi and providing treated water to Yamuna, under which in-situ treatment zones will be created at 9-10 different places in Najafgarh, Supplementary, and Shahdara Drains. In-situ treatment methods will include floating booms, weirs, aeration devices, and floating wetlands. Apart from this, chemical dosing will be done at strategic locations to reduce the phosphate present in the wastewater.

Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the Kejriwal government is continuously working to solve the problem of pollution in Yamuna through drains. Several steps have been taken to improve the quality of drain water. In line with the ongoing activities to clean the Yamuna, the Kejriwal government is launching major initiatives to treat water from the biggest polluters, namely the Najafgarh supplementary, and Shahdara drains.

However, last year as a pilot project, weirs were made at different places in these three drains. “Looking at the positive results, we have decided to scale up the treatment of wastewater flowing in the drains through in-situ methodology to reduce the amount of pollutants in Yamuna. As soon as the drains polluting the Yamuna are cleaned, the Yamuna will automatically start getting cleaned”, he said. This initiative of the Kejriwal government will prove effective.

Various treatment zones will be created in Najafgarh, supplementary, and Shahdara drains. All major drains like Najafgarh, Supplementary, and Shahdara drains are being converted back into clean water channels by the Kejriwal government. In order to clean the Yamuna, the Kejriwal government built weirs (small dams) at various places some time back as a pilot project on these three drains. At the same time, in some places aeration systems and at many places bamboo floating buoyant and plastic buoyant were also installed, so that it can be known which process will be better on a large scale. The government saw good results from this pilot project. Keeping this in mind, under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj has decided to create 9-10 treatment zones at different places in these three drains in Delhi where various processes will be repeated to treat the sewage water so that clean water reaches the Yamuna.

Under this plan, different processes will be included in different zones-

  1. Floating booms will be installed for cleaning drains in different zones so that plastic waste can be collected and removed in one place. Apart from this, in-situ treatment method will be used, in which water is cleaned at the same place without taking it to any other place. This will work to make the water cleaner as well as collecting of plastic from drains which will further help in reducing water pollution.
  2. Weirs (dams) will be built in the zone of these drains. The purpose of building a dam is that the depth of the water increases, and the fine particles present in the water sit on the surface of the ground. Clean water overflows from the top of the dam and moves forward.
  3. Apart from this, aeration devices will be installed in the zone, which will increase the aeration inside the water. Oxygen will dissolve in the water and make the water cleaner. In this way, this water will reach Yamuna after being cleaned naturally.
  4. Floating wetlands will be installed in different zones, which will absorb the dirt dissolved in the water. These will be made out of low-cost bamboo which will last for many years. Wetland plants will be planted inside it, which will help in cleaning the water as these are plants that absorb the pollution of water as they float on the surface in the form of green patches. These plants could absorb pollution, so water and air pollution is reduced wherever they are planted. This way the big trees and plants absorb the pollutants dissolved in the air, similarly the plants planted on these floating wetlands also absorb the pollutants of water and air.
  5. At the same time, chemical dosing will be done in the drain zone. This will help reduce phosphate from the wastewater. Phosphate is one of the major pollutants, due to which foam is formed on Yamuna. It will be reduced through chemical dosing and will make a significant contribution towards providing clean water to the Yamuna.

“With the help of new techniques, we will soon be able to clean the filth of the drains falling in the Yamuna.”, Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said. He also stated that Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has always said that everything is possible if the intention is clear. “With this clear intention, by using new techniques, we will soon be able to clean the filth of drains falling into Yamuna. After the implementation of all these techniques, water pollution in all the major drains like Najafgarh, supplementary, and Shahdara drains will be reduced. Along with this, clean water will reach Yamuna”, he continued. He said that many de-centralized STPs are being constructed by Delhi Jal Board Delhi to treat sewage water, through which sewer water comes out of people’s homes before getting into these drains. Only then can it be treated completely. Apart from this, the Delhi government is working to install sewer lines in unauthorized colonies across Delhi and is improving the sewer network across Delhi. Following the instructions of Shri Arvind Kejriwal, a target has been set to lay sewer lines in all unauthorized colonies as soon as possible.

Positive results were seen in the test
Samples were collected last year from Rithala STP, a dam built near Rohini Sector 11, Rohini Sector-16, and Rohini Sector-15, among the drains on which dams have been built under the pilot project under the scheme of cleaning Yamuna where it was found that after the construction of the temporary dam, there was a significant reduction in suspended solids. The total suspended solids level from Rithala to Rohini Sector-15 came down from 166 mg per liter to just 49 mg per liter. The results also showed a significant reduction in the amount of ammonia in the wastewater. The test found that the ammonia level in Rithala was 26 mg per litre. By the time it reached Rohini Sector 15, only 18 mg per liter remained. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) levels in the wastewater were observed to decrease gradually after passing through each dam.

It is noteworthy that Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has set a target of cleaning the Yamuna by 2025. The Yamuna Cleaning Cell was formed under the direction of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal to ensure better coordination and an integrated approach to achieve the objective of cleaning Yamuna. The decisions taken by the cell are executed by the members of the concerned departments to ensure time-bound action. Yamuna Cleaning Cell Construction of new STPs, DSTPs, upgradation of existing STPs up to 10/10 and capacity enhancement, laying of sewerage network in unauthorized colonies, septage management; desilting of trunk/peripheral sewer lines, providing sewer connections in pre-notified areas, trapping of drains under ISP, in-situ treatment of drains, etc., so that Delhiites do not face any problem and they receive better facilities. Apart from this, with the aim of keeping Delhi clean and making Yamuna pollution-free, free sewer connections are also being provided by the government to the residents of Delhi under the Chief Minister Free Sewer Connection Scheme.

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