Has the lockdown cleaned Yamuna? No!

Image not from lockdown period and for representational purposes only. Image by Praveen Raj from Pixabay

Yamuna in Delhi

The river Yamuna enters Delhi at Palla. It flows for twenty-two kilometer till the Wazirabad barrage, where all of its water is stopped for use of citizens of the city. Twenty-three major drains enter the river downstream of the Wazirabad Barrage and except for monsoons, all the water in the river comes from these drains. We give below, the schematic of the river in the city, as depicted in the CPCB report.

Source: CPCB report

Results of water testing

Broadly speaking, there was a sharp improvement in the water quality at Nizamudin and upstream of Okhala, as seen in the BOD and COD levels, although both were still higher than norms. There was a slight improvement in BOD and COD levels in Najafargarh drain, as compared to a year ago, but a worsening in the quality of water in Shahdra drain. Most importantly, in both cases, the levels of pollutants were way over the standards!

Excess snow melt

Around a year back, one of us had written a post on cleaning of Ganga and the main message of the post was that there was a hard problem and a harder problem in cleaning water bodies.


Most of the pollutants entering the Yamuna in Delhi are from residences. Without severely reducing this load, there is no way the Yamuna in the city can be cleaned up. It is only in monsoon that the river flows freely and gets cleaned up a little.



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Yogesh Upadhyaya

Yogesh Upadhyaya


Entrepreneur. Economist. Investor. Actor. Technophile. Policy wonk. Comedian. I love to explore places where these worlds intersect.