According to a report from the Indian parliament, it is noted that, the Yamuna, a river revered in Hindu theology, is now a sewage drain by the time it reaches Delhi.
It is also reported that, the Indian government has spent more than £600 million on schemes to clean up the revered Yamuna River but it is now more toxic than at any other time in its long history.
The Yamuna is worshipped along with the Ganges as one of Hinduism’s two holiest rivers. For Hindus, it is a living goddess, whose water once parted to allow Lord Krishna and his father to flee from their would-be killers.
It flows from the Yamunotri Glacier in the Himalayas down through Haryana to Delhi and on to Agra, past the Taj Mahal. But before it reaches the Indian capital, most of its water is siphoned off into canals for irrigation and drinking water.
The growth in Delhi’s population to 22 million and the rise of illegal slums has led to a great increase in human waste and rubbish, much of which is dumped in the river. More than 400 million gallons of sewage enters the river from Delhi’s drains without passing through the city’s treatment plants.
Human ashes, leather tanning chemicals, pesticides and painted religious idols all add to the toxicity.