Yamuna campaign: Marching ascetics reach Taj city

March 24th, 2011 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, March 24 (IANS) The movement for the restoration of the Yamuna river has picked up steam as the marching ascetics and activists campaigning for it have reached the Taj city on way to Delhi.

The Braj Mandal sants and ascetics, who began the yatra from the Sangam in Allahabad March 2, have been mobilising support in the smaller towns and villages on the way. The marchers reached here Wednesday night and will reach Delhi April 15.

Bhanu Pratap Singh, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said all sections of society are supporting the campaign inspired by Ramesh Baba of Barsana. Many NGOs and citizens groups have also extended their support.

The activists have threatened to open all the gates of the Okhla, Wazirabad and other barrages. “Water should be allowed to flow uninterrupted and should not be held up anywhere, only the overflow or surplus water can be stored,” said Singh.

The marchers cover around 25 km daily and stop at some village for the night. A large number of women too have joined the march.

“People in Agra will give a fitting response and support the cause that has always been dear to them. Not only for the health of the humans but for conservation of monuments that fetch millions of dollars annually, the river needs to be saved,” Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society president Surendra Sharma told IANS.

D.K. Joshi, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, said: “For too long the government agencies and corrupt officials have played with our natural assets, the streams and the water bodies. Time has come for the people to wake up before it is too late.”

“In the past three decades, close to Rs.5,000 crore have been spent in the Taj Trapezium Zone, and the results are there for everyone to see,” he said.

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