The Role Of River Yamuna In India

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Rivers act as the lifelines for a country, not only because for the water they supply but also because of the life they support. In countries like India rivers are not just a source of water but they are given the status of god and goddesses. Rivers have always been the center of civilization, as we all know that the cities were built around it. They majorly are responsible for the flourishment of the forests and to maintain the fertility of the soil. The river Yamuna has been worshiped by the people and has been a part of their traditional believes. It has the greatest and one of the most beautiful histories as described in the scriptures. Yamuna has been a part of Mahabharat’s narration as it was mentioned to be one of the tributaries of river Ganga. Yamuna covered many parts of Delhi and made it more beautiful and a spot for attraction for the rulers. The Red Fort was protected by the help of river Yamuna as the enemies could not cross the river and could not invade the fort. Not only in Delhi it has been the part of one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. It not only provided serenity but also protected the Taj from enemies and from pollution.

But the river that flew pleasantly blue now seems a river that is dead. The murder of the river is committed by the various anthropogenic activities over the years. Yamuna river is the largest tributary of river Ganges and is one of the most important and sacred rivers of India. It has a length of 1,376 km. The river covers major cities like Delhi, Mathura, Allahabad, Agra, Kalpi, Etawah, Yamuna Nagar.It merges with tributaries Chambal, Betwa, Ken, Sindh, Hanuman gaga etc. Yamuna mainly gains water during the 4 monsoon months and the rest 9 months of the year it is calm and stagnant.

Due to its vast covering of geographic area it is more prone to pollution and is one of the most polluted rivers of the world. The biggest source of pollution come from out national Capital – Delhi, dumping 58% of its waste in the river. The major causes of pollution are sewage and waste water, dumping, industrial waste, oil spilling, dumping of hot water, release of chemicals, detergents, seeping of fertilizers and pesticides, traditional beliefs, dumping of plastic etc. The amalgamation of these lead to severe impacts on the environment such as increase in diseases, alter the growth of aquatic life, suffocation of aquatic organisms to death, micro climatic changes, impact on life of plants, reducing the fertility of the soil etc.

The major heavy metals present in Yamuna river are cadmium, nickel, zinc, copper, manganese, lead, mercury etc. these are mainly due to the dumping of leather, dyes, steel industries.

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Protecting Yamuna, one of the most important river of India is an hour of need and shall be taken in consideration by everyone. The measures include to avoid dumping of waste, to ban submerging of statues of god and goddesses in the name of tradition, ban dumping of plastic, to install sewage treatment plants, amend the laws which are not strict towards the protection of the river, to indulge more people by encouraging the participation of Non-governmental organizations etc.

The government had realized the polluting nature of human would reach alarming rates and hence Yamuna Action Plan was introduced, the Yamuna Action Plan was the collaboration of Indian government and the Japan. It was launched in the year 1993 and has so far managed to complete 2 plans YAP- 1 and YAP-2.

The Yamuna River is a major source of water for Northern India and many important cities and towns such as Delhi, Agra, Poanta sahib, Mathura, Noida, Karnal, Sonipat, Panipat, Etawah and Yamuna Nagar are situated on its banks. These cities are dependent on Yamuna River as primary source of their drinking water. In the last few decades, there has been a serious concern upon the.

The Traditional role of Yamuna is described as people worship it and have named it as the goddess Yamuna, also called Yamini. In Hindu religion Yamuna is represented as the daughter of Lord Sun and sister of the god of death (Yamraj) and god of punishment (Shani) therefore it is believed that taking a bath in its water absolves the person taking bath of all worldly sins. Some also believe that the Yamuna is the twin of the goddess Ganga as they run parallel to each other. Due to the immense pressure of water and increased rate of dumping in it has shrieked as compared to what it was years before, yet some researchers from World Wide Federation had declared that Yamuna still has some rare species such as the endangered turtle and ghariyal. The increase in pollution has been a major problem which is not only impacting the river but also the groundwater near to it. The groundwater is present beneath the earth’s surface in soil pores and the fractures of the earth. The place where the groundwater is found is called an Aquifers. The aquifers are recharged either by some nearby water body or due to the percolation of water from the soil pores. The recharging of aquifers due to some other water body directly impact the groundwater in huge quantity because the inlet source and the outlet might be very far from each other hence the distance between the inlet and outlet underground would be impacted. The groundwater is a really important source and its contamination and overuse is reducing the water table and making it unfit.

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