New govt needs to breathe life into Yamuna and Delhi

All the parties have promised various measures to clean the river and the capital waits for action


Swati Chandra | February 7, 2015 | New Delhi

#Yamuna   #Delhi polls   #AAP   #BJP  

A dead Yamuna, seen from the metro train crossing from New Delhi to Delhi, can explain what city has done to it in past few years.

The river is still, not moving even at surface. Grey and white streaks are visible on the upper surface; probably non soluble effluents oozing out from the visible and unseen channels.

Delhi has been without an elected government since Arvin Kejriwal left nearly 14 months ago. On Saturday, voting took place and Kejriwal is keen to come back to power. His fate will be announced on February 10. But the question is will the new government work for the rebirth of the river or the destiny of the river was only to reach the election manifestoes of various political parties.

Political parties contesting polls in Delhi have made ambitious claims and played politics over the dead river as they did with Ganga during Lok Sabha polls.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called Yamuna a ‘national heritage’ and is promising to set up ‘Delhi Yamuna Development Tribunal’, if it comes to power in the national capital. The party has also claimed that it will develop the areas around the river besides the tourism development on the smelly banks of the river. It even went on claiming to build check dams on the river that hardly flows.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the other hand is talking about ‘Water as a right’ to people in its Jal Swaraj document. The party has claimed that more STPs will be constructed and sewerage network will be laid in all the parts of Delhi. If elected to power, monitoring of flow, discharge and quality will be started.

The AAP has gone to the extent of promising Yamuna rejuvenation on the lines of Thames in London.

Whatever be the mandate of the Delhi the river needs a fresh life, like the city itself.



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