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THE SACRED, OR PERSECUTED?

THE SACRED, OR PERSECUTED?

The holy river crying for policy-makers’ attention

The Yamuna river is highly venerated in the Hindu religion and is worshipped as goddess Yamuna, further the river marks its relevance as the daughter of the Sun God and the sister of Yama, the god of death. The river is so holy in Hindu religion, it is strongly believed that bathing in its sacred waters frees one from all sins. The parody is as such that the holy waters of the river is being abused in such a manner that the river is suffering and in connection the lives of the people is getting affected too.

For a long period of time the holy river Yamuna has been the lifeline for Delhi. From a pristine water course that was mesmerised by the Mughals it now meanders wearily loaded with pollutants.

The major cause of pollution of the river Yamuna is basically related to the religious practices that are carried out by the people in day to day lives. Yamuna is a river which passes cities whereby a lot of religious institutions are present like for an instance vrindavan, people in Hindu religion whereby the holy river is thought to be as a place whereby offerings are to be made and this is a general adopted practice by the Hindus.

A recent judgement by the Uttarakhand High Court, the division bench states that rivers Ganga and Yamuna, all their tributaries, streams, every natural water flowing with flow continuously or intermittently of these rivers, as juristic/legal persons/living entities having the status of a legal person with all corresponding.

This judgement by the Uttarakhand High Court has not only mentioned that the river Yamuna is a living entity but also has to protect the river Yamuna.

River pollution is a big menace to the environment and of course human health too, the other factors related to the contribution in the pollution are the Industrial wastes, mixtures of chemicals, heavy metals are all discharged in water and these are difficult to clean up.

It has been observed on the banks of the river people enjoy the call of the nature which adversely affects the river health.

The Yamuna has been sentenced to the harshest treatment by the humans, the Yamuna is a garbage dump for more than 57% of the Delhi waste thrown into it and only 55% of Delhi’s residents are connected to proper sewage system which negates the other 45% of the population which again remains not properly connected to the proper sewage system. According to Centre for Science and environmental Pollution, around 80% of the Yamuna’s pollution is due to raw sewage.

The river pollution leads to number of health problems and disorders in humans. Not only it affects the human life but also affects the aquatic life, leading to the growth of fishes that are unsuitable for human consumption which further results in mass killing of the aquatic life too. Many economic activities are carried out by the people on these water bodies for an instance fishing and there are people whose livelihood depends on the aquatic life. Further it is not only limited to humans and the aquatic life but also animals and birds who drink the water of the river. After drinking the toxic water of the river mostly the animals, birds, humans and aquatic life suffers disorders and result in their death.

In the long term, if the continuous river pollution continues it will be a threat to the biodiversity and also the extinction of some species can disrupt the ecosystem completely, as we are aware about the chains of the ecosystem.

The rivers situation at present is very alarming and people in their references term it to be a huge sewage canal, its water is unfit for human consumption and cannot be qualified for any use, it cannot even support bacteria or any aquatic life.

At present the government has spent hundreds of crores Indian rupees in the cleaning of these rivers but still the river still remains to flow dirty.

Yamuna enters into Delhi at Wazirabad barrage, it is reflected in the picture P.1, the water stored in left beaker is the water of Yamuna before entering Delhi and the water stored in the right side of the beaker is the water of Yamuna after entering Delhi.

It seems that human activity is the major cause by which the river Yamuna is killed, the colour of the water has turned completely black which contains heavy metals, toxic metals, pesticides and nuclear wastes and which results in destruction of the properties of water, the oxygen level of the Yamuna water remains to be zero.

The very first solution of this problem has been mentioned in this article itself whereby it is important to know the stakeholders to the particular issue, once the stakeholders have been identified the responsibility of the cleaning of the river Yamuna can be shifted to them.

Dozens of countries have established regulatory bodies for instance in some states of U.S the regulatory bodies are public Utility Commission, in england and Whales a regulatory body was created OFWAT in 1989, and many countries choose for privatization for the concern of water management which India should also implement.

The another is “awareness”, once the government is successful in creating the awareness that the river contributes a lot to the people and it is their duty to protect it the pollution level will go tremendously down. The government should formulate policy by making field research and identify the polluters and apply the concept of Polluters Pay Principle.

(Ankit Kishore is a law student School of Law, KIIT University)

THE SACRED, OR PERSECUTED?

THE SACRED, OR PERSECUTED?

The holy river crying for policy-makers’ attention

The Yamuna river is highly venerated in the Hindu religion and is worshipped as goddess Yamuna, further the river marks its relevance as the daughter of the Sun God and the sister of Yama, the god of death. The river is so holy in Hindu religion, it is strongly believed that bathing in its sacred waters frees one from all sins. The parody is as such that the holy waters of the river is being abused in such a manner that the river is suffering and in connection the lives of the people is getting affected too.

For a long period of time the holy river Yamuna has been the lifeline for Delhi. From a pristine water course that was mesmerised by the Mughals it now meanders wearily loaded with pollutants.

The major cause of pollution of the river Yamuna is basically related to the religious practices that are carried out by the people in day to day lives. Yamuna is a river which passes cities whereby a lot of religious institutions are present like for an instance vrindavan, people in Hindu religion whereby the holy river is thought to be as a place whereby offerings are to be made and this is a general adopted practice by the Hindus.

A recent judgement by the Uttarakhand High Court, the division bench states that rivers Ganga and Yamuna, all their tributaries, streams, every natural water flowing with flow continuously or intermittently of these rivers, as juristic/legal persons/living entities having the status of a legal person with all corresponding.

This judgement by the Uttarakhand High Court has not only mentioned that the river Yamuna is a living entity but also has to protect the river Yamuna.

River pollution is a big menace to the environment and of course human health too, the other factors related to the contribution in the pollution are the Industrial wastes, mixtures of chemicals, heavy metals are all discharged in water and these are difficult to clean up.

It has been observed on the banks of the river people enjoy the call of the nature which adversely affects the river health.

The Yamuna has been sentenced to the harshest treatment by the humans, the Yamuna is a garbage dump for more than 57% of the Delhi waste thrown into it and only 55% of Delhi’s residents are connected to proper sewage system which negates the other 45% of the population which again remains not properly connected to the proper sewage system. According to Centre for Science and environmental Pollution, around 80% of the Yamuna’s pollution is due to raw sewage.

The river pollution leads to number of health problems and disorders in humans. Not only it affects the human life but also affects the aquatic life, leading to the growth of fishes that are unsuitable for human consumption which further results in mass killing of the aquatic life too. Many economic activities are carried out by the people on these water bodies for an instance fishing and there are people whose livelihood depends on the aquatic life. Further it is not only limited to humans and the aquatic life but also animals and birds who drink the water of the river. After drinking the toxic water of the river mostly the animals, birds, humans and aquatic life suffers disorders and result in their death.

In the long term, if the continuous river pollution continues it will be a threat to the biodiversity and also the extinction of some species can disrupt the ecosystem completely, as we are aware about the chains of the ecosystem.

The rivers situation at present is very alarming and people in their references term it to be a huge sewage canal, its water is unfit for human consumption and cannot be qualified for any use, it cannot even support bacteria or any aquatic life.

At present the government has spent hundreds of crores Indian rupees in the cleaning of these rivers but still the river still remains to flow dirty.

Yamuna enters into Delhi at Wazirabad barrage, it is reflected in the picture P.1, the water stored in left beaker is the water of Yamuna before entering Delhi and the water stored in the right side of the beaker is the water of Yamuna after entering Delhi.

It seems that human activity is the major cause by which the river Yamuna is killed, the colour of the water has turned completely black which contains heavy metals, toxic metals, pesticides and nuclear wastes and which results in destruction of the properties of water, the oxygen level of the Yamuna water remains to be zero.

The very first solution of this problem has been mentioned in this article itself whereby it is important to know the stakeholders to the particular issue, once the stakeholders have been identified the responsibility of the cleaning of the river Yamuna can be shifted to them.

Dozens of countries have established regulatory bodies for instance in some states of U.S the regulatory bodies are public Utility Commission, in england and Whales a regulatory body was created OFWAT in 1989, and many countries choose for privatization for the concern of water management which India should also implement.

The another is “awareness”, once the government is successful in creating the awareness that the river contributes a lot to the people and it is their duty to protect it the pollution level will go tremendously down. The government should formulate policy by making field research and identify the polluters and apply the concept of Polluters Pay Principle.

(Ankit Kishore is a law student School of Law, KIIT University)

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