Most Polluted River In India - Yamuna River

Posted by David Swift on February 26th, 2018

The Yamuna is one of the most prominent rivers in India and also the most polluted. It is the fourth longest river, stretching to a length of 1367 KM.

In India, rivers hold a great significance as they are the epicentre of religious rituals and considered sacred. Rivers like Ganga and Yamuna are visited by millions of tourists every year. Despite the religious importance, people that visit the river keep adding to the pollution of the Yamuna.

River pollution in India is a great concern for the people residing in areas abutting the river. Open sewage drainage, soil erosion, industrial waste, washing clothes, etc. is increasing the river pollution extremely dangerous and life-threatening levels.

The government of India is exploring foreign help for river rejuvenation due to the lack of progress by native experts and responsible departments. The government has signed an agreement with Japan to restore the river to its former glory.

Yamuna Rejuvenation Plan

Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) is one of the largest river rejuvenation projects in India. The bilateral project between India and Japan aims at ridding the Yamuna of all its pollutants. The first two phases of the plan YAP 1 and YAP 2 have been completed across 21 towns in Delhi with a cost of INR 1,453.17 Crore. Sewage water treatment capacity of 767.25 million litres has also been developed.

Under the YAP Phase 3, the primary emphasis of the project is to clean the Delhi stretch of the river as most of the city’s waste is dumped in this region.

The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), recently stated that the YAP might not be a hundred percent successful, but they do acknowledge that the state of water in the Yamuna has not deteriorated. There are several other projects in the pipeline that are dedicated to improving the quality of water in the Yamuna and restoring the marine life.


The Yamuna Action Plan has been going on for nearly two decades now, but there has been no substantial improvement in the level of pollution of the Yamuna. Majority of the sewage treatment facilities are either not operational or lack proper funding. The continuous stagnation of water during the non-monsoon seasons is also a factor that contributes to the Yamuna river pollution in India. The lack of awareness among people is also a reason behind the river being the most polluted river in India.

The government alone cannot complete the mammoth task of cleaning the river, people of the country have to realize the danger that a polluted river poses to its surroundings. To improve the condition of the river, certain facilities must be developed such as Sewage Treatment Plants, Common Effluent Treatment Plants, Effluent Treatment Plants, awareness campaign, etc. These plans must not just be created but executed effectively to obtain the desired result.

David Swift

About the Author

David Swift
Joined: September 20th, 2017
Articles Posted: 10

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