Yamuna River in DelhiThe Yamuna river is the largest tributary of the Ganga river. The stretch of the river from its origin to Okhla in Delhi is called “Upper Yamuna”. It covers parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Origin of Yamuna riverThe Yamuna river originating form the Yamunotri Glacier at 6,387 metres in Uttarkhand’s uppermost region of the Lower Himalayas and covers a total length of 1,376 kilometers.
Yamuna in MythologyThe Yamuna is highly adored in Hinduism and is worshipped as goddess Yamuna. According to Hindu mythology Yamuna is the daughter of Surya, the Sun God and sister of the God of Death, Yama, hence it is also known as Yami.
According to the myth, on the night of God Krishna's birth when Vasudeva carried the new born into a basket and fled the city, he had to cross the mighty river Yamuna, which amazingly changed its coarse for the man and the baby to cross. Just because of this, bathing in the sacred water of the Yamuna river frees one from the sufferings of death.
Geography of Yamuna and it's TributariesYamuna river has an elevation of about 3,293 metres located at the geographical coordinates of 31o01'0.12oN 78o27'0oE. The catchment area of the river is full with semi alpine, alpine, sub-tropical and temperate vegetation.
The important tributaries of the Yamuna are Tons, Sharda, Hindon, Gir, Kunta, Rishiganga, Betwa, Hanuman Ganga, Chambal, Sindh and Ken.
Usage of YamunaAround 57 million people depend on Yamuna for their daily water needs. With an annual flow of about 10,000 cum (cubic metres) and usage of 4,400 cum (of which irrigation constitutes 96 %) the river contributes for more than 70 % of Delhi’s water supply.
Pollution at Yamuna
Yamuna river is considered one of the most polluted in the entire world.
The water in the river remains stagnant for almost nine months in a year which aggravates the situation.
The Yamuna river enters Delhi at Palla village which is 15 km upstream of Wazirabad barrage. The Wazirabad barrage acts as a reservoir for Delhi.
Due to less discharge there is lesser river flow which leads to greater levels of pollution in the Yamuna. The Agra canal branches out from Yamuna from the Okhla barrage (the exit point for the river in Delhi).
Almost no water is released from this barrage to the river during the dry months. Discharges from the Shahadara drain join the river downstream of the barrage, bringing effluents into the river from East Delhi and Noida. This is the second largest polluter of the river after the Najafgarh drain.
The primary problem lies in undetected and untreated pesticide residues. Some waterworks officials in Delhi and Agra have pointed out that pesticide traces cannot be eliminated with conventional method.
An award winning documentary “Jijivisha” was made on the plight of Yamuna in 2005.