The lack of oxygen and the presence of an oily slick in the water is believed to have caused the death of the fishes. Local officials, however, said the water is safe for human consumption, as proper purification measures have been taken.
"We are supplying the water which is purified by the chemicals and purifiers. There is no problem in that water and it can be used," said the mayor of Agra.
In recent years, the river has turned grossly polluted due to various factors responsible for affecting human health and bio-diversity of the eco-system. It is considered as one of the most polluted rivers in the world, especially around New Delhi which is believed to dump about 57 per cent of its waste into the river.
One such cause of pollution in the River Yamuna has been the regular discharge of unchecked domestic wastewater and other forms of wastes coming from the towns, located along the Yamuna riverbanks. Certain measures of cleaning the river have been undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) under the Centre in 12 towns of Haryana, eight towns of Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi under an action plan (Yamuna Action Plan-YAP) to arrest river pollution.
Since 1993, the action plan is being implemented by the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Although the Government of India has spent nearly 500 million dollars to clean up the river, it continues to be polluted with garbage while most sewage treatment facilities are underfunded or malfunctioning.