Water Minister Satyendar Jain said the Delhi government's ambitious project to clean the Yamuna river in five years is on track despite some "slowdown" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Visuals of toxic froth floating in the river water in Delhi have been shared on social media over the last few days, drawing myriad reactions and comments from the public.
Jain said that to curb pollution in the river, the government has already banned the sale, storage, transportation, and marketing of soaps and detergents not conforming to the latest BIS standards.
The primary reason behind the formation of the toxic foam in the Yamuna is high phosphate content in the wastewater because of detergents used in dyeing industries, dhobi ghats and households, according to officials.
"The ban on soaps and detergents not conforming to latest standards will gradually make an impact on the pollution load in the Yamuna," the minister said.
"We had said we will completely clean the Yamuna in this term (current tenure of the AAP government). The work on the project has slowed down a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but still three and a half years are left. We will make it happen," Jain said.
The Delhi government's Animal Husbandry Department on Tuesday banned fishing in parts of the Yamuna in the city, citing high pollution levels in the river.
The Yamuna flows only for 54 kilometres from Palla to Badarpur through Delhi. The 22-kilometre stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla, which is less than 2 percent of the river length of 1,370 kilometres from Yamunotri to Allahabad, accounts for about 76 per cent of the pollution level in the river.