Why only the Ganga, make Yamuna national river too, demand activists

November 10th, 2008 - 11:05 am ICT by IANS  

Agra, Nov 10 (IANS) How can you think of the Ganga without the Yamuna? This is what people living along the Yamuna river here are asking after the government decided to declare the Ganga a national river and constitute a separate panel to clean up the river.People in Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan have reacted sharply against the Congress government’s decision to recognise the Ganga as a national river.

“Along with the Ganga, the prime minister should have also granted the same status and importance to the river Yamuna, the lifeline of Delhi, Mathura and Agra,” says environmentalist Ravi Singh.

The Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society has shot off an angry letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding a joint authority for both the rivers.

Surendra Sharma, president of the society, says the Yamuna “historically, culturally, politically and architecturally is more important than the Ganga. Along the Yamuna’s banks flourished a culture, commerce and the whole Sri Krishna-Radha mythology. Today the Yamuna is in bad shape because of pollution and lack of water.

“Remedial measures for the Yamuna are more urgent, but it seems for political reasons, the prime minister has ignored the demand of Yamuna lovers.”

Says Acharya Jaimini of Vrindavan: “The Ganga and the Yamuna together support a composite culture in the Doab region. Both are integral and both sustain each other. The scope of the proposed Ganga River Basin Authority should be widened to include the Yamuna.”

Mughal historian R. Nath says all the architectural marvels of the Mughal period are to be found along the Yamuna banks. “The river needs to be saved from pollution and water needs to be released immediately if we want to save the Taj Mahal and other monuments. For a long time we have neglected the Yamuna, inviting peril. The situation now needs rectification. The central government should immediately grant national status to the Yamuna too and announce measures to restore the glory of this dying asset,” Nath told IANS.

Yamuna Foundation for Blue Water founder president Subijoy Dutta told IANS: “A comprehensive project to revive both the rivers should be undertaken without delay.”

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