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Yamuna is dying

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NGT asks Delhi and Haryana govts to study source of Yamuna pollution, find ways to prevent it

~By Ramesh Menon

Both the Delhi and Haryana governments have been directed by a bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to figure out how the Yamuna river gets polluted and find ways to deal with it.

Earlier, the NGT had told both the states to hold meetings to resolve the vexed issue of ammonia content in the Yamuna water which is being supplied by Haryana to Delhi. This was because the Delhi Jal Board petitioned the Tribunal pointing out that there was a high content of ammonia.

An analysis by the Central Pollution Control Board showed that the ammonia level in most of the areas was as high as 45 times above the safe limit.

The Delhi Jal Board petition said that the level of ammonia when the water enters Delhi was very high and as the water was heavily polluted it could not be treated for drinking. It warned that there will be a health crisis in the National Capital Region if such water was consumed.

Almost sixty percent of the water supplied in Delhi is from the Yamuna. The river has to absorb around 850 million gallons of sewage per day. Out of this, only about 400 million gallons gets treated by the 33 sewage treatment plants.

The Tribunal said that the Pollution Board and the Jal Board should be involved together to deal with the polluters and check the pollution level.

When the river starts from its source in the Yamunotri glacier in the Himalayas, it is a sight to see as it has clear clean water. Till it reaches Delhi, the Yamuna is a healthy river. As it flows through a stretch of around 20 kilometers meandering through India’s capital city, it chokes on the toxic raw sewage and poisonous industrial effluent that is drained into the river at nearly two dozen points.

When the river enters the city at Wazirabad, the dissolved oxygen content is around 7.5 milligrammes per litre. When the river exits the city, it is down to 1.3 milligrammes. The Central Water Commission says that the river has the highest level of biochemical oxygen demand when it passes through the city.

Union Water Resources and River Development Minister, Uma Bharati says that sewage from Delhi’s drains is responsible for 80 per cent of the pollution in the Yamuna.

Over 600 villages use the Yamuna water for irrigation. Environmentalists warn that this can have a hazardous effect on the health of people consuming the vegetables and fruits that grow in these fields. Even in the mid-nineties, tests on vegetables grown on the Yamuna floodplain were found to have heavy metals.

Over Rs. 2000 crore has been spent till now in attempts to clean the Yamuna.

Many times a year, one can see the whole river turn into a sea of white foam due to increased industrial effluent that directly flows in from the factories in the capital into the river. It has been happening for years now.

I have seen the Yamuna for the last 26 years and the condition has not improved at all despite crores of rupees spent in cleaning the river. Stretches of the river do get cleaned but are polluted again as both dry and wet waste is being thrown into the river day after day.

A lot of it is avoidable. Yamuna is also a sacred river for the Hindus. A lot of religious ceremonies take place on its banks. Flowers are thrown into it and oil lamps are allowed to float away from its shores.

There is also a high content of coliform which is human and animal excreta. In some parts it is hundreds of times more than the safe limit.

Rapid urbanization, untreated sewage, open defecation are some of the reasons why the Yamuna is dying. There are thousands of settlements along the Yamuna that are illegal and so they do not have a sewerage system.

The mess is ironical as last year the High Court of Uttarakhand in a landmark judgment had declared that the Yamuna and the Ganga were living entities. At the moment, death is hanging over the river that is today more of a gutter.

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Rameshwaram Cafe blast: Karnataka Home Minister reveals how police inputs helped NIA arrest accused

The blast at the cafe occurred during lunch hour on March 1 at around 1 pm, which left 10 people injured

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Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said on Saturday that inquiry teams were attempting to determine whether the two suspects in the Rameshwaram cafe blast who were detained by the NIA had any connections to other terrorist groups. He also praised the state police for their contributions, some of which resulted in their arrest. Meanwhile, the suspects have been placed in 10-day police custody on remand.

The Karnataka police and the NIA have both performed incredibly well. In the beginning, they obtained all of the CCTV footage and monitored one of the accused, which helped in their arrest, he said.

The minister disclosed how the NIA was able to arrest the accused, which was possible because of a tip from the police.

He said the police shared very good inputs with the NIA, like the cap the accused was wearing, which was purchased from Chennai, and the telephone number he had given in the shop.

According to G Parameshwara, the services were also looking for connections between them and other crimes related to terrorism. He said that they might be attempting to flee from West Bengal to Bangladesh, where they were apprehended by the NIA.

He said the team is investigating the real motive behind the blast and their involvement with other terror outfits (ISIS), as these two (accused) are supposed to be involved in the earlier Shivamogga blast and kept running for three to four days ahead of getting arrested in this case, Parameshwara stated.

Since they were apprehended in West Bengal, a state that shares a border with Bangladesh, it’s possible that they wanted to leave the country. However, currently, they don’t have any precise information on this. He continued, They will discover in due course if there is someone assisting from that side (Bangladesh).

Meanwhile, the blast at the cafe occurred during lunch hour on March 1 at around 1 pm, which left 10 people injured. On March 3, the NIA took over the case from the police and announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information regarding the two accused.

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PM Modi, President Murmu pay tribute to Jallianwala Bagh massacre victims

On the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre PM Modi, President Murmu paid tribute to those who were killed in the incident.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. In Punjab’s Amritsar on April 13, 1919, hundreds of nonviolent protestors were shot at random by British forces.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, PM Modi said, on behalf of the entire country, he pays his deepest respects to all the brave martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

President Droupadi Murmu also paid respects to those who gave their lives in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre for the sake of the country as she said that their martyrdom will continue to inspire future generations. 

The President said on X, she pays tribute  to all the freedom fighters at Jallianwala Bagh who gave their all for the country. The people of this country will always be grateful to all the wonderful people who gave their life in support of Swaraj, she added. The president wrote in Hindi on X that she is confident that the spirit of patriotism of those martyrs will always inspire the coming generations.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said, Jallianwala Bagh is a living symbol of the cruelty and inhumanity of the British rule

Tribute to the valiant martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh who made an invaluable contribution to the country’s freedom movement, he wrote on X in Hindi.

Shah continued saying, a living example of the brutality and inhumanity of British rule is Jallianwala Bagh. This massacre ignited the revolutionary fire that had been dormant in the hearts of the people, turning the independence movement into a popular battle. He said, the lives of the dignified people of Jallianwala Bagh serve as a constant source of inspiration for selflessness and devotion to the country first.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed gratitude for the martyrs’ extraordinary bravery and selflessness.

He wrote on X, remembering the martyrs who were killed on this day in 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. I honor their extraordinary bravery and selflessness. He also said their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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Tejashwi Yadav releases RJD’s manifesto, promises airports in 5 Bihar cities

Tejashwi Yadav said his party is making 24 promises to the people of the nation and Bihar.

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Former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha election manifesto on Saturday morning, pledging the construction of five new airports in the state. Along with releasing Parivartan Patra, the political heir and son of RJD founder Lalu Yadav pledged Rs1 lakh annually to sisters from low-income families on Raksha Bandhan.

In the presence of senior RJD leaders, Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the document and said that his party had committed 24 commitments to both the national and Bihar citizen.

He said, they have released Parivartan Patra available. Twenty-four jan vachan (public promises) have been brought up for 2024. These 24 jan vachan are our promises, which we will keep, the speaker said.

Tejashwi Yadav said that his party will see to it that five new airports are built in Bihar to improve connectivity, should the INDIA bloc secure a majority at the Centre.

For better connectivity in Bihar, they are going to build 5 new airports in the state, in Purnea, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Raxaul, he said. Yadav also pledged to give Bihar special status. They will implement OPS (Old Pension Scheme) and we will provide special status to Bihar, he said. The former deputy CM promised to eradicate unemployment in the nation.

People will begin to be released from unemployment on August 15th. The process of providing jobs will begin on August 15th, if their government is elected, he stated.

Every year on Raksha Bandhan, they will provide their sisters who live in poor families with Rs 1 lakh. Gas cylinders would be available for Rs 500, he continued.

The RJD leader assured young people all over the nation of one crore jobs.

He further said, One crore youth across the country will receive government jobs if our INDIA alliance is elected to power. Our greatest opponent right now is unemployment, yet the BJP did not discuss this. Although they had pledged to provide 2 crore jobs, we carry out our word, he said.

On April 19, voting will start for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. On June 4, there will be a counting.


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