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IANS, 16th March, 2010

New Delhi, India: Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar announced here Tuesday a seven-month long campaign to clean the Yamuna river and have a clean and green Delhi before the Commonwealth Games.

The campaign – ‘My Yamuna, My Dilli’ – was launched by the spiritual guru here at Purana Qila Tuesday evening.

‘The responsibility for cleaning up the Yamuna lies with us – the people she nurtures,’ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said.

‘This movement is a call to remind us what this river has given to generations before us, and to allow her to nourish generations after us. It is a platform for our individual voices that will become a collective echo and an unstoppable force,’ the founder of the Art of Living movement told reporters at the launch of the campaign here.

‘I know thousands of crores have been spent over the years but the condition of the Yamuna has not improved… Let us go and clean the banks of the Yamuna from tomorrow (Wednesday),’ he added.

A recent report by the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) revealed that the faecal content in the water of the Yamuna is so high that the river resembles a drain.

According to the CPCB’s 10-month-long monitoring of the Yamuna river at Nizamuddin, the water is unfit not just for drinking but even for bathing or washing.

According to stipulated standards, water can be made potable with treatment if faecal coliform is less than 500 per 100 ml. It is fit for bathing if the number is less than 5,000 per 100ml. However, the lowest level of faecal coliform in the Yamuna, measured May 4, 2009, was 4.4 lakh per 100ml — almost 100 times above the level considered safe for bathing.

Originating in the lower Himalayas, the Yamuna is 1,376 km long. The 22-km-long stretch that passes through Delhi is one of the most polluted.

Hundreds of NGOs, organisations and corporates are part of the initiative.

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