Vrindavan devotees fight for Yamuna cause

October 5th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh), Oct 5 (IANS) Activists and ascetics of Vrindavan have come together for a campaign to ensure there is at least a minimum flow of water in the Yamuna river.

“In 1999, the apex court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure there’s a minimum flow of water in the Yamuna — to protect the aqua life and for devotees who could take bath in it during holy festivals,” said Brajraj Sharan Babaji, a saint and the main organiser of the campaign.

The month-long campaign, ‘Bring Yamuna back to Vraj Vrindavan’, kick-started with the Navratras festival last week.

“Ahead of the assembly elections, we want to sensitise the political parties of the need to rejuvenate our holy rivers and other water bodies,” said Brajraj Sharan Babaji.

“This movement during the Kartik mas (holy month) when thousands from all over the world would be coming for the holy bath and puja of Yamuna river, will help draw attention to the high-level of pollution in the river,” he said.

Environmentalist Ravi Singh says the Yamuna bed has already turned dry. “So early in the year, immediately after the monsoon, the river is dry and people are facing water shortage. One wonders what lies in store in the coming months,” he says.

The ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) centre at the Krishna Balram temple in Vrindavan will be the nerve-centre of the campaign.

The campaigners say that Delhi’s contribution to the overall pollution load in the river remains alarmingly high.

“Water is diverted, almost 97 percent, upstream of Delhi through the Hathini Kund network of canals and barrage. What flows out of Delhi is sewage, waste, garbage and industrial effluents,” said Brajraj Sharan Babaji.

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