The Kamrup Metro district administration recently blocked the flow of Bharalu by closing down the sluice gates so that holding the Brahmaputra Pushkar festival was not inconvenienced and devotees could bath in the river safely. This merely reiterates the truism that celebrating the Brahmaputra or beautifying its banks, whether at Guwahati or elsewhere is meaningless, unless we treat the highly polluted and toxic waters flowing into Assam’s lifeline. The Bharalu river has for long been reduced to a filthy, stinking drain, carrying the wastes from industries and settlements in Guwahati. There was once some talk about setting up a water treatment plant near the mouth of Bharalu, but nothing materialized over the years. We are in the midst of a continuing ‘Swacchta’ mission to clean up the entire country, but as part of it, people of Assam should stop pouring their garbage onto the rivers while the authorities must take concrete measures to prevent polluted waste waters from poisoning these rivers.