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Hindu Press International
Polluted Yamuna Irks Pilgrims
on 2014/6/9 18:23:17 ( 703 reads )

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INDIA, June 8, 2014 (by Venugopala Reddy, The Hindu): Every day, thousands of devout Vaishnavas from all over the world return disappointed and frustrated from the ghats in Braj mandal, the land of Sri Krishna-Radha, when they see the miserable condition of the Yamuna river, stinking and rotting with pollutants, dead fish and toxins flowing down from upstream industrial clusters in Delhi and Haryana. Most go to take a holy dip or aachman (sip) of the Yamuna, but the water of the river, fills them with disgust, says Acharya Madhukar Chaturvedi, a Haveli Sangeet specialist. The ghats along the banks of the river are buried in polluted silt.

On weekends, lakhs turn up for a darshan of Bankey Bihari in Vrindavan and a parikrama of the holy Goverdhan hill. When these people go to the Yamuna, the reaction is sharp and negative. One hears only curses and abuses," Mr. Poddar told IANS. In Mathura, the polluted effluents from hundreds of sari dyeing units discharged in the river have only compounded the problem. After the construction of the Gokul Barrage, the river has distanced itself from the historical Gokul ghats. This obviously causes deep resentment and angry outbursts.

Citizens groups like India Rising have been exerting pressure on the government agencies to take up cleanliness drives, build permanent ghats and dredge out silt from the riverbed to hold back the monsoon overflow, but so far there has been no positive response. The Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society has in a memorandum to the Prime Minister urged him to replicate the Sabarmati model in Agra and Mathura. "The Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad was reduced to a dirty drain, but the Modi government carried out structural changes and the success is there for all to see," society president Surendra Sharma said.

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