Can the Yamuna be saved?

#1 Mar 10th, 2013, 15:51
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Even as thousands are undertaking a march from Mathura to Delhi to raise awareness to save the "dying" Yamuna river, people in the country wonder in sadness if it was still possible to revive one of India's holiest rivers that is now seen as a mere sewer.

The demands of the marchers include the release of a minimum quantity of water into the Yamuna round the year from the Hathini Kund barrage, some 100 km upstream of New Delhi, and effective checks on drains in the national capital that dump pollutants, effluents and sewer waste into the river - literally turning it into one huge drain.

The Yamuna has been the repository of arts, culture, architecture, history and Hinduism's Bhakti movement. 500 years ago, the river banks were so beautiful that the Mughals built some of their finest monuments like the Taj and Etmauddaula etc. The glory days of the river, however, are lost and will never return. The dozen-odd ghats along the riverfront, once the centre of thriving commercial activity, now appear a wasteland. The river has been reduced to a drain and its waters are unfit for drinking or even bathing.

Activists have been exerting pressure on government agencies, asking that cleanliness drives be undertaken and pucca ghats be built. They have sought that the silt be dredged out.

Can the Yamuna be saved?

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