Sacred Yamuna River in New Delhi Coated with Toxic Foam Amid Hazardous Pollution Crisis

In a distressing scene, a thick layer of toxic foam has once again engulfed parts of the sacred Yamuna River near New Delhi, exacerbating the city’s battle against a pervasive and noxious smog. The frothy mixture, comprising sewage and industrial waste, has spread over sections of the Yamuna, a tributary of the revered Ganges River, posing significant health risks to the region.

Key Points:

  1. Toxic Foam and Pollution Crisis: The white foam, a combination of sewage and industrial pollutants, has covered the Yamuna River, leading to concerns about respiratory and skin problems. This occurrence coincides with hazardous levels of pollution in New Delhi, affecting over 20 million residents and prompting closures of primary schools and offices.
  2. Widespread Pollution Issues: Similar toxic foam has been reported in a canal in Tamil Nadu, with gusts of wind carrying the froth onto roads, posing risks to commuters. The pollution crisis in New Delhi has reached alarming levels, prompting residents to take measures such as purchasing air purifiers and wearing face masks.
  3. Historical Pollution Challenges: Sections of the Yamuna have long suffered from the dumping of toxic chemicals and untreated sewage. The river’s appearance is dark and sludgy in some areas, compounded by plastic waste along its banks. Delhi, despite having only 2% of the river’s length within its borders, contributes a staggering 76% of the river’s total pollution.
  4. Continued Use Despite Toxicity: Despite its toxic nature, villagers downstream continue to use the water for bathing and drinking. Hindu devotees, who often perform rituals in the river, are seen surrounded by the dense foam. The toxic foam is a regular occurrence on the Yamuna, posing challenges to the community.
  5. Smog Crisis in New Delhi: This week, New Delhi faced not only the toxic foam issue but also a severe smog crisis. The city ranked as the most polluted in the world, with an air quality index (AQI) of 517 on Thursday, considered hazardous. Residents are grappling with the adverse effects of the smog, leading to increased demand for air purifiers and protective masks.

As New Delhi contends with these environmental challenges, urgent measures are needed to address the root causes of pollution and safeguard the health and well-being of its residents.

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