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Microbes & Aquatic Plants Could Be Key to Restoring the Damaged River Yamuna

It’s the unfortunate truth that the river Yamuna has become one of the most polluted water bodies in the country. In 2016, it was reported that in Delhi alone, 21 nullahs end up discharging 850 MGD (million gallons per day) of sewage into the river.

Thankfully, some of the country’s scientists are already on the task of cleaning it up and they are keen to solicit the help of nature itself to further along the process.

Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia

The National Green Tribunal-appointed panel had been set up to assess the damage and suggest solutions to clean up parts of Yamuna that had been severely polluted by a public event that was held last year. The panel has noted that in order to revive the ecosystem of the region once more, they would have to introduce microbes and small aquatic plants back into the floodplains.

According to the plan suggested, the panel has said that first the region would have be physically rehabilitated through human intervention like dredging and desiltation. Once it is cleaned up, floating aquatic plants, microbes and small invertebrate species would be brought in to resuscitate the region.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, A K Gosain, one of the members of the panel notes, “As the flood plains were damaged by humans, we would just kick start the process of rehabilitation and then step aside and allow nature to take over. This process of healing would take around 10 years at least.”


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The project would cost more than ₹42 crores in order for it to be successful.

Similarly, another set of experts, this time University of Virginia, have been looking at cleaning the river as it flows through Delhi through cutting-edge technology. Professors and students from the School of Architecture are coming up with viable solutions to make the area a waterway lined with parks and public spaces.

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