The Yamuna – uncertain river
The pre-historic 1200 km long river, flows for 48 km through the city, starting at Palla village and exiting at Badarpur. 22 km of this length is through a starkly contrasting rural landscape, where people still cultivate vegetables, grain, hay and marigolds. The economy is local, with villagers depending on livestock, farming and fishing. At the end of this stretch lies the barrage of Wazirabad, where the waterworks are located, and which supply Delhi drinking water. After this point, it seems the river does not matter anymore, and it changes beyond recognition.. Over its remaining stretch in the city, 22 drains carrying the city’s sewage hit the river, converting it literally to a sewage drain. The water is stinking and very polluted, as it flows through New Delhi, carrying the muck of its over 15 million inhabitants. Once, the same river formed a complex network of a water system. Delhi was in a natural bowl between the Ridge and the river and water collected in lakes and marshes. The 22 drains were fresh water channels, which linked these to the river, besides acting as flood back flow escapes for a river when it was in spate. However, now as the city has developed rapidly, with no recognition of its water flows and its natural orientation, the water channels have been criss crossed, covered with concrete and carry only sewage.