On Earth day, city of Taj spreads threat-awareness

April 22nd, 2010 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, April 22 (IANS) Hundreds of students holding placards and banners marched through the streets in the trans-Yamuna area here Thursday to spread awareness about the threats posed to planet earth by “man’s uncontrollable greed” and rampant exploitation of resources.
On the occasion of Earth Day, the students, led by environmental activist Ram Avtar Sharma, raised slogans to save river Yamuna and also cleaned the famous Aram Bagh, a garden built by the 16th century Mughal emperor Babar.

“If people of Agra do not wake up today to save the Yamuna river, the life-line of the city, it will be too late tomorrow,” said Sharma, an octogenarian, who has been working towards recharging the city’s underground water resources through several schemes.

At another programme ‘Earth Day symposium’ organised by the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, the speakers expressed alarm and concern over the depleting green cover and abnormal rise in temperature.

“Whole of Agra region is currently enveloped in a dust cover. The Aravali ranges have been denuded and the huge gaps created by illegal mining operations have made it easier for the dusty westerlies to enter this region. We need to launch a massive afforestation programme on a war footing for the heritage monuments to survive for posterity,” president of the society Surendra Sharma said.

Harvijay Singh Bahia, who has launched a ‘Better Agra’ drive to make the city green, told IANS: “We have changed our modus operandi, learning from the failure of earlier such drives. We now wait for invitations from interested people and then go to their premises to prepare the pits with manure.”

“We hope to plant more than 10,000 saplings with the first showers. Each tree will have a saviour identified and made responsible for its early life. We have volunteers and a huge database ready,” he said.

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