A report on the pollution levels in the Yamuna before, during and after idol immersion during Durga Puja shows that pollution levels were highest during the time of immersion, but quick action and a river cleaning plan meant most pollutants were fished out within three days.
Samples for the Delhi Pollution Control Committee report, released on Wednesday, were collected from six ghats. One sample was picked up on October 7, before the immersion. One was picked up on October 11, the day of the immersion, and one was picked up on October 14, three days after the immersion.
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The report states that while pollution indicators such as biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) shot up during the immersion, their levels came down considerably three days later — in some cases, they were equal to what they were before the immersion.
The report indicates that while the immersion took the pollution up, its impact was not as drastic three days later.
At Kudesia Ghat, for example, the COD was 25 before immersion, 38 during immersion and 30 after immersion. While no chromium was detected before or after immersion, its value was 0.074 during immersion.
At Shyam Ghat, the TSS was 38 before immersion but dropped to 26 after the cleaning.
The Delhi government had made elaborate plans to clean the river after the event and several people, including contractual labourers, showed up for the exercise.