The Delhi government's animal husbandry department banned fishing in parts of the river Yamuna because of the high pollution levels in the river on Tuesday. The government notification stated that as per the provision made in rules under Indian Fisheries Act, 1897, the issuing of fishing licenses will be suspended in two portions of public waters until further notice.
On Tuesday, white toxic foams were seen floating on the water in the Kalindi Kunj portion of the river. The images were doing rounds on social media and drew outrage from environmental activists and the public, as reported by Hindustan Times.
The government notice further said fishing would be prohibited in a portion of the Hindon Canal, Ghazipur drain and Shadipur drain (road drain 0 to 17,000). A part of river Yamuna, from groyne number 85 (downstream), New Okhla barrage, to Delhi boundary, will also be inaccessible for fishing.
Despite Pollution, Fishermen Depend On The Yamuna
According to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the most recent data on river pollution levels was not available with the agency. However, compared to the other parts of the river, the fishing pockets are usually less polluted, with high dissolved oxygen levels supporting aquatic life.
So contrary to popular beliefs, despite the contaminated condition of the river Yamuna, fishermen still depend on the river for their livelihood. Although aquatic life in the Yamuna has reduced significantly in the last two decades, fish varieties such as puthi and goldfish are still common in some parts of the river.
According to an official of the Central Pollution Control Board, high phosphate content in the wastewater coming from detergents used in dyeing industries, households, and at dhobi ghats is the reason behind the formation of toxic foam in the river Yamuna.
DPCC Had Banned Substandard Soaps, Detergents
Earlier this month on June 14, the DPCC banned the sale, storage, transportation, and marketing of soaps and detergents that do not conform to the Bureau of Indian Standards' latest standards to control the discharge of pollutants into the river.
The NGT had also directed to launch awareness campaigns about the harmful effect of using substandard soaps and detergents.