Delhi govt bans fishing in Yamuna, says water too polluted
The Delhi government’s animal husbandry department on Tuesday banned fishing in parts of river Yamuna, citing the high pollution levels in the water.
“It is hereby brought to the notice of all concerned that in view of the high pollution levels in the Yamuna waters, as per the provisions made in the rules (formulated under Indian Fisheries Act, 1897), the issuing of fishing licence in two portions of public waters is suspended till further orders,” the notification read.
The notification further said fishing will be prohibited in a portion of the Hindon canal, Ghazipur drain and Shadipur drain (road drain 0 to 17000); and portion of river Yamuna, from groyne number 85 (downstream), New Okhla barrage, to Delhi boundary.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said the most recent data on river pollution levels was not readily available with the agency. Officials also said compared to the rest of the river, fishing pockets usually are less polluted and the dissolved oxygen levels in the water are high enough to support aquatic life.
Contrary to popular notions, despite the highly polluted state of the Yamuna in the national capital, portions of the river are still frequented by fishermen who depend on the river for their livelihood. According to them, even though aquatic life has reduced drastically over the past two decades, owing to pollution and low water flow in the Delhi portion of the river, fish varieties such as puthi and golden fish, are still common in parts of the river.
On Tuesday, images of the white, toxic foam floating over the water in the Kalindi Kunj portion of the river started doing rounds on social media, drawing outrage from environment activists and public.
“Disgusting state of river Yamuna in Delhi, as disgusting as its politics and politicians residing here. Thousands of crores spent on cleaning the river, tall promises and aartis, and yet a sewage canal in the name of a river, (sic)” tweeted environment activist and founder of environment protection NGO Swechha, Vimlendu Jha, tweeted alongside with murky pictures of the river.
High phosphate content in the wastewater because of detergents used in dyeing industries, dhobi ghats and households is the main reason leading to the formation of toxic foam in the Yamuna river, an official of the Central Pollution Control Board had said earlier.
Earlier this month, on June 14, the DPCC had banned the sale, transport, storage and marketing of soaps and detergents that do not comply with the new BIS standards, in order to control the discharge of pollutants into the river water in an effort to control the foam in the river.