Story in Pictures

Holy muck

The Ganga's largest tributary, Yamuna, calls for an equally viciferous clean-up action plan.

Vishal Koul

Central water resources minister Uma Bharti has a real stinker of a job ahead of her in the coming years. In terms of river pollution, the drowning-in-dirt Ganga is less of a headache when compared with its much more polluted tributary, the Delhi-skirting Yamuna. Central pollution control board reports say certain stretches of the river have absolutely no dissolved oxygen, needed to support aquatic life. What’s worse, multiple clean-ups running up a ₹1,500-crore bill have resulted in little beyond large-scale corruption — the river’s polluted area went up by 100 km in 2012, the same year the North Delhi Municipal Corporation issued notices to 96 industrial units and closed down 50. Then, there is the matter of where to dump the debris. With just two sides of the river groaning under a cumulative 90,000 cubic metre of solid waste, this is one problem you just can’t brush under the carpet