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Sacred Indian river flows again as pollution subsides

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:37s - Published
Sacred Indian river flows again as pollution subsides

Sacred Indian river flows again as pollution subsides

One of India's holiest rivers is able to breathe again after a 10-week lockdown that temporarily stopped the discharge of toxic waste into its waters.

Gloria Tso has more.

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Normally clogged by trash and sewage, the revered Yamuna River in India has been reduced to a public drain in recent years.

But now, one of the nation's holiest rivers is able to breathe again after a 10-week lockdown that temporarily stopped the discharge of toxic waste into its waters.

Locals who live along the banks of the river have noticed the changes, too.

55-year-old Hindu priest Sanjay Gir says he doesn't remember the last time the river was this clean.

"Because everything is closed right now, all the factories, industries are shut.

The ones that use all those chemicals for cleaning up purposes are currently shut so that water is not coming into the river and due to that, there is a huge difference in the quality of river water." Decades of neglect turned the Yamuna into a dumping ground for industrial waste.

At many places it was once covered in white froth churned up by the badly-polluted current.

The river has been flowing again as India's 1.3 billion people have been stuck indoors and many industries have been shut.

But as India works towards life after lockdown, environmental expert Anshuman Jaiswal says there is much more work to be done - in order for the water not to return to pre-lockdown pollution levels.

"All the years we have been talking about it but never we saw such kind of, you know, enthusiasm across the people, across the board, on the improvement in the nature - water is one of them.

So, it is definitely possible, all it takes is all these programmes that we had or we have on pollution abatement, I think they have to be planned well, implemented more importantly, even well, I think in a time bound manner with an accountable framework."




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Yamuna Yamuna River in India


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