Taj city activists march to highlight plight of dying Yamuna

By Brij Khandelwal Agra, June 5 : Save our dying heritage "Mother Yamuna" was the call raised by hundreds of concerned river activists, and civil society leaders as they marched in a procession from the Taj Corridor to the Etmauddaula View Point on the eve of the World Environment Day. The protesting marchers demanded early construction of a barrage downstream of the Taj Mahal, dredging of the river bed and uninterrupted minimum flow of fresh water round the year. The foot march by green activists was organised by the River Connect Campaign which has long been demanding formulation of a National River Policy and constitution of a Central Rivers Management Authority. The marchers carrying banners and posters, raised slogans, drawing public attention to the sad plight of Yamuna, reduced to a vast sewage canal. The lack of water in the Yamuna has raised the pollution level and constitutes a real threat to the Taj Mahal and other monuments sited on the banks of the river Yamuna, environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya said. Agra Civil Society leader Anil Sharma said the state and the Central governments had made several tall promises to rejuvenate and restore past glory of one of the holiest rivers of India, but sadly nothing concrete had been done so far. The promised ferry service from Delhi to Agra remained a dream, Sharma added. The long march concluded with a 'havan' for 'shuddhikaran ' of politicians who had betrayed the cause of Yamuna. /IANS


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