Group demands 'Unclean' signboards at Yamuna

Group of sadhus and farmers demanding a clean and naturally flowing Yamuna


Neha Sethi | April 19, 2011

Protestors at Jantar Mantar
Protestors at Jantar Mantar

By the time the Yamuna exits Delhi, all that remains in it is sewage, this is what should be clearly displayed at signboards near the Yamuna. A group of sadhus and farmers who have been protesting against at Jantar Mantar since April 14 have written to the prime minister and president demanding the clear display on signboards.

“They (the citizens) must be made aware that the water is only the untreated sewage of Delhi and hazardous to their health. They need to understand that it is but Delhi sewage, 3,296 MLD (million litres per day) worth and not the sacred purifying water of Yamuna.  Signboards should be put up at all the ghats in Vrindavan and Mathura, advising people of the health dangers of these practices, just as they are on tobacco and ghutka packet,” the group has demanded by way of the letter.

This group started a foot march from Allahabad on March 2 and reached Delhi on April 14. They are demanding a clean and naturally flowing Yamuna.

“The natural flow of Yamuna has been stopped first at Hathnikund and then at Wazirabad. This prevents Yamuna from reaching Sangam in Allahabad and this is harming the farmers,” said Bhanu Pratap, president of Bhartiye Kisan Union (Bhanu). He said that apart from the unavailability of surface water, this is also affecting underground water recharge. “In Mathura, we used to get water at 50 feet under the ground but now it is not available even at 400 feet,” Bhanu added.

Their demands include maintenance of constant adequate natural fresh flow in the river Yamuna throughout to protect and preserve its ecology. This demand is in consonance with recommendations of a high powered committee formed by the supreme court in 1999.

Another of their major demand is construction of a trunk sewage system along the stretch of the Yamuna river in Delhi. This system is to be constructed between the Wazirabad and Okhla barrage in Delhi to carry the treated waste water for irrigation purposes.

The group had submitted a charter of their demand to the Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi, minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh and water resources minister Salman Khurshid earlier.

Around 50 people from the group have been fasting at Jantar Mantar since April 17 to make sure that the government meets their demands.



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