Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, on Friday conducted first ever Yamuna Arti and pledged to clean the river in 36 months.
He said that measures will be taken to ensure the collection and treatment of sewage through sewer network and new STPs.
Friday’s Aarti event saw cultural performances including dance and music on the bed of Yamuna, which began with an all-religion prayer by singers, preachers and leaders of each major faith in India, ‘praying to River Yamuna and pledging to ensure its cleanliness.’
Speaking at the event, Kejriwal said, “The Yamuna River has been part of the collective memory of Delhi for a long time but this lifeline is dying. We will ensure 100 percent collection and treatment of Delhi’s sewage through an extensive sewer network and construction of new functional sewage treatment plants.
“Discharge of untreated water and industrial effluents into the river Yamuna will be strictly prohibited.There will be a close and strict monitoring of all industries that discharge water into the river. Most of the pollution happens at night, while the current monitoring happens during the day only. All effluents into the river shall be monitored 24*7. No untreated water, whether industrial or domestic sewage will enter Yamuna.”
He said that people ought to have connected with ‘their river which is why we have already conducted multiple events in River Yamuna.’
He added, “We have already conducted a Kayaking and Canoeing Championship near Wazirabad and will host musical events and festivals soon to ensure that people remember and love their River. It is only when the city owns its river, pledges to work for it and ensures their personal commitment to clean it, will we have a clean and nourishing river. Let’s take a pledge today to clean our River Yamuna and ensure that we never make it dirty.”
Water Minister Kapil Mishra said, “AAP government has extended use of natural infrastructure as well to achieve task of ‘’Nirmal Yamuna.’ Decentralized Sewage treatment system is one of them. Wastewater generated from an area area will be treated locally and could be used for non-potable use and revival of water bodies. This would prevent sewage flowing into drains leading to Yamuna and reduce dependency on fresh water.”
The Yamuna Aarti will now be conducted everyday on the river at Gita Ghat, with celebrations at special festivals being aided by the Delhi government as part of its strategy to revive and rejuvenate the River Yamuna and the culture around it.