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Over 70 heartbreaking pictures depict horrific death of India’s holy River Yamuna

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The Yamuna River flowing through the city of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal

Photo:Getty Images/ Nat Geo Creative

Very recently, two holy rivers of India, Yamuna and Ganga, were declared as human entity by the High Court of Uttarakhand. That implies one should look at the rivers as living persons. If it’s so, then we have already murdered them by choking into toxic chemicals, industrial waste, millions of litters of raw sewage discharged daily, plastic, and rubbish generated by religious activities. If we talk of Yamuna, people cling to hypocrisy in which they are exposing the revered river to a humiliating death while worshiping it. In last 22 years, Rs 2,000 crore has been spent on Yamuna clean-up. But nothing has improved. The standard limit of total coliform (mostly human and animal excreta) is 5,000 mpn/100 ml. But in Yamuna, the figure is in lakhs and even crores. Dissolved oxygen (DO) level in the waters is way beyond grooming aquatic life. In fact, the Yamuna has virtually no aquatic life.

Infographic on Yamuna Pollution

Infographic: The Quint

The biggest culprit is Delhi that is about a third of the way down the 855-mile Yamuna River. The stretch of Yamuna that flows through Delhi is only 2 percent of the river, but accounts for 80 percent of the river’s pollution.

Studies claim that water of Yamuna isn’t safe for any purpose even if it’s treated with even modern methods available.

Even expensive water treatment technologies are incapable of treating the polluted river water. And, the conventional water processes based on chemical filtration and biological treatment are not suitable for removing the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS),

stated the study published in International Journal of Engineering Sciences and Research Technology.

Upstream from Wazirabad — before the river enters Delhi — it is home to turtles, different species of fish, crocodiles and an abundance of aquatic plants and phytoplankton. But as it enters Delhi, the river starts to die.

It’s disheartening that India continues to watch death of this River, which was once called life-line of North India, silently and helplessly.

Chemical waste, Pollutants dumped in River Yamuna

Chemical waste, Pollutants dumped in River Yamuna

Photo: V. Sudershan

An iceberg of chemical waste dumped by factories along the Yamuna River

An iceberg of chemical waste dumped by factories along the Yamuna River

Photo: Giulio Di Disturco, Institute

Piles of laundry from hotels lay in the mud along the Yamuna River

Piles of laundry from hotels lay in the mud along the Yamuna River

Photo: Giulio Di Disturco, Institute

Chemicals spill out from one of the tanneries of Kanpur

Chemicals spill out from one of the tanneries of Kanpur,

Photo: Giulio Di Disturco, Institute

Chemical waste dumped into the Yamuna leaving river blanketed in toxic foam

Chemical waste dumped into the Yamuna leaving

Photo: Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

A devotee takes a dip in the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati in Allahabad. Photographs Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

Devotee takes a holy dip in the polluted Sangam

Photo: REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash (INDIA) – RTXAG0Y

Housing next to open sewers in Noida

Housing next to open sewers in Noida

Photo: Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Bleach laundry in polluted Yamuna River

bleach laundry in polluted Yamuna River

Photo: Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Children search the polluted Yamuna River for religious items tossed in from bridges above

Children search the polluted Yamuna River

Photo: Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Children float on the polluted Yamuna River to look for any garbage that might be valuable

Photo: Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Man and child bathe in the Yamuna River

Man and child bathe in the Yamuna River

Raw sewage spills directly into the Yamuna River at the northern edge of New Delhi

Raw sewage spills directly into the Yamuna River at the northern edge of New Delhi.

Photo: David Gilkey/NPR

Toxic foam in Yamuna River

Photo: Zachari Rabehi/Agence Le Journal

Photo: Zachari Rabehi/Agence Le Journal

Photo: Zachari Rabehi/Agence Le Journal

Photo: Zachari Rabehi/Agence Le Journal

Hindu women perform their morning ritual in the highly polluted Yamuna River

Hindu women perform their morning ritual in the highly polluted Yamuna River in delhi

A man bathes and fills bottles with water from a foamy, polluted section of the Yamuna River near the outskirts of New Delhi

A man bathes and fills bottles with water from a foamy, polluted section of the Yamuna River on May 24 near the outskirts of New Delhi, India

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Washerman washes pieces of cloth on the banks of the Yamuna River

Mohammad Zamir, 38, washes pieces of cloth on the banks of the Yamuna River

Photo: David Gilkey/NPR

Indian men bathe in an industrial waste-foam polluted section of the Yamuna River, on the outskirts of New Delhi

Indian men bathe in an industrial waste-foam polluted section of the Yamuna River

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Man searches for coins in the polluted waters of the Yamuna river in New Delhi

man searches for coins in the polluted waters of the Yamuna river in New Delhi

Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/Getty Images

Children who live along the banks of the Yamuna River in ramshackle huts hunt for coins and anything valuable they can collect

Children who live along the banks of the Yamuna River in ramshackle huts hunt for coins and anything valuable they can collect

Photo: David Gilkey/NPR

Man makes an offering on the banks of an industrial waste-foam polluted section of the Yamuna River in New Delhi

man makes an offering on the banks of an industrial waste-foam polluted section of the Yamuna River in New Delhi

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Litter and debris float down a stretch of the Yamuna River in Delhi

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Litter and debris float down a stretch of the Yamuna river in Delhi

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Devotee bathes in the Yamuna river in New Delhi

devotee bathes in the Yamuna river in New Delhi

Hindu bathing site in the polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi

Hindu bathing site in the polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi.

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Image

Stray dog searches for food in the polluted water of the river Yamuna in New Delhi

stray dog searches for food in the polluted water of the river Yamuna in New Delhi

Photo: Manpreet Romana/Getty Images

Man fills water from the polluted river Yamuna in New Delhi

man fills water from the polluted river Yamuna in New Delhi

Indian washermen wash their clothes on the banks the polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi

Indian washermen wash their clothes on the banks the polluted Yamuna river in New Delh

Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/Getty Images

Woman collects plastic refuse floating on the waters of The River Yamuna in New Delhi

woman collects plastic refuse floating on the waters of The River Yamuna in New Delhi

Manpreet Romana/Getty Images

Thick foam flows down the polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi at dawn

Thick foam flows down the polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi at daw

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images

The bank of the polluted Yamuna River, on the outskirts of New Delhi

The bank of the polluted Yamuna River, on the outskirts of New Delhi

Photo: AFP

Heavily Polluted Yamuna River

Heavily Polluted Yamuna River

BBS.VOC

Swimming in Yamuna

BBS.VOC

Boy walks into the polluted river Yamuna in New Delhi as part of everyday life

Everyday life Around Yamuna Bank In New Delhi, India

Photo: Barcroft

A devotee carries a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh through the polluted waters of the river Yamuna in New Delhi

A devotee carries a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh through the polluted waters of the river Yamuna in New Delh

Photo: Reuters

Man bathes in the polluted waters of the river Yamuna in New Delhi

man bathes in the polluted waters of the river Yamuna in New Delhi

Photo: AFP

Plastic pollution of the Yamuna river bank at Kalindi Kunj

Plastic pollution of Yamuna river bank at Kalindi Kunj

Photo: Krishanan Chopra

Dead Yamuna River Photo

Dead Yamuna River

Nat Geo

A Swachh Bharat Abhiyan banner was seen hanging on a fence in the canal amidst the waste

A Swachh Bharat Abhiyan banner was seen hanging on a fence in the canal amidst the waste

Photo: Vatsala Singh/The Quint

The Kalindi Kunj bank of Yamuna after a religious procession left

The Kalindi Kunj bank of Yamuna after a religious procession left

Photo: Aaqib raza Khan/ The Quint

A child and his grandfather fish out valuable remains from religious offerings in the river

A child and his grandfather fish out valuable remains from religious offerings in the river

Photo: Aaqib raza Khan/ The Quint

The water levels under the Iron Bridge remain low almost throughout the year, and only cross the danger mark in monsoons

The water levels under the Iron Bridge remain low almost throughout the year, and only cross the danger mark in monsoons

Photo: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint

Child plays with polluted foam after the overnight Chhath Puja celebrations wrapped up

child plays with polluted foam after the overnight Chhath Puja celebrations wrapped up

Photo: Aaqib Raza Khan/The Quint

Open Sewage that dumped in Yamuna

Open Sewage that dumped in Yamuna

Photo: Virendra Singh Gosain/HT

Wastewater from textile dyeing industry discharged into Yamuna

Wastewater from textile dyeing industry discharged into Yamnuna

Photo: Om Prakash Singh

Stretch of Yamuna polluted with untreated industrial wastewater in South-East district, New Delhi

Streach of Yamuna polluted with untreated industrial wastewater in South-East district, New Delhi

Photo: Om Prakash Singh

Najafgarh sewage water flowing into River Yamuna

Photo: Om Prakash Singh

A man throws the puja offerings in Yamuna River at the end of Navratri festival in New Delhi

Manvender Vashist / PTI

Photo: Manvender Vashist / PTI

A giant Idol of Hindu goddess Durga suspends from a crane before it is immersed in the River Yamuna during Durga Puja festival in New Delhi

a giant Idol of Hindu goddess Durga suspends from a crane before it is immersed in the River Yamuna during Durga Puja festival in New Delhi, India

Photo: Altaf Qadri/AP

The Yamuna River flowing through the city of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal

The Yamuna River flowing through the city of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal

Photo:Getty Images/ Nat Geo Creative

Yamuna near Taj Mahal

Yamuna Near Taj Mahal

Photo: DK Joshi

Rag pickers search for coins, gold and offerings in the polluted waters of the Yamuna River after the Navratri festival

Rag pickers in Yamuna

Photo: Hindustan Times

Dead River Yamuna in Delhi

Dead River Yamuna

Foam-coated surface of river Yamuna, the longest and second largest tributary of holy Ganges

Foam-coated surface of river Yamuna, the longest and second largest tributary of holy Ganges

Photo: Hindustan Times

Child searches for coins on the polluted banks of the river Yamuna in Allahabad

a child searchers

Photo: Dependu Dutta/Getty Images

Drain Carrying Untreated water into River Yamuna in South-West District, New Delhi

drain Carrying Untreated water into River Yamuna in South-West District, New Delhi

Photo: Om Prakash Singh

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