Activists on Thursday expressed concern over the alarming pollution level in the Yamuna, worshipped by millions of devotees on the occasions of Govardhan Puja and Yam Dwitiya, and demanded action to save the river.
Devotees take holy dip in the Yamuna, believed to be the sister of the Hindu god of death Yamraj, and offer prayers to mark the festival of Yam Dwitiya, which falls on Friday.
“The Yamuna water is unfit for these rituals. Over the past couple of days, there have been mass deaths of fish due to depletion of oxygen or perhaps release of industrial pollutants in large quantities,” environmentalist Shravan Kumar Singh said.
Last week, thousands of dead fish were found floating in the Yamuna at Mathura, apparently due to the discharge of toxic waste into the river, authorities had said.
Members of River Connect Campaign demanded urgent action by the Uttar Pradesh government to improve the quantity and quality of water in the Yamuna.
They demanded that water be released into the river from upstream barrages and construction of a barrage on Yamunadownstream of the Taj Mahal.
“We can neither take a bath nor take ‘achaman’ (sip) as the dark water not only stinks but has turned toxic due to pollutants,” a Mathuradheesh temple priestGoswami Nandan Shrotriya lamented.
Residents complained that the water supplied to the city is also not clean.
“For the past one week, the water supply has been inadequate. In fact half the city was without water on Diwali this year. The situation is truly alarming,” Seema Gupta, a resident of Vijay Nagar Colony, said.
“The main pipeline burst at several points due to which supply had to be stopped. But the situation is normal now,” an Agra Water Works Official told to news agency PTI.