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Polluted Yamuna river is a threat to a city

Summer has started in the Indian capital of Delhi, bringing with it fears of typhoid, malaria, and the inconvenience of water shortages. Delhi's main river is at the heart of the problem - heavily depleted and polluted, the Yamuna poses a serious threat to the well-being of the city's 12 million inhabitants. Experts have warned that, unless a major clean up act is started, Delhi could have an environmental catastrophe on it hands. The Yamuna - for centuries it's waters have signified purity and life for the pious who come to immerse themselves in the holy river. Flowing for more than 25 kilometres through the crowded capital, the Yamuna provides three quarters of Delhi's water needs. At dawn, the river becomes a source of employment for hundreds laundrymen cleaning the city's clothes and scavengers plying the waters for rubbish to sell. The river is a vital lifeline for the city's 12 million inhabitants, but one that is slowly dying. Diverted by upstream barrages and dams, human and animal waste are now over 1000 times safe levels. Locals have little alternative - despite being only too aware of the risks. VOXPOP: (Hindi) I've been living near the yamuna for forty years.


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