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Hopes pinned on NGT on Yamu's water flow

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Vrindavan/ Mathura/ Agra, September 13: Environmental activists concerned at the degradation of Yamu river have demanded firm action by the union water resources ministry on the directive of the tiol Green Tribul (NGT) to ensure a minimal flow of water in this largest tributary of the Ganges.

On June 12, the NGT had directed the Harya government to release 10 cumecs of water in the Yamu from the Hathini Kund barrage. While monitoring implementation of the “Maili se Nirmal Yamu Revitalisation Project”, NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had taken to task the Harya government for dragging its feet in implementing earlier decisions — both of the apex court and the NGT — to release water in the Yamu. The NGT asked the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Harya, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh to interact with chairperson of the NGT principal committee Shashi Shekhar to sort out the issue of minimal flow in the Yamu.

This committee was formed in January this year, and comprises secretary of the ministry of environment, secretary of water resources ministry, state secretaries of state governments, commissioners of all municipal corporations, and the vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority. Mathura-based Braj Bachao Samiti members on Sunday demanded a firm commitment from the Harya government on release of water in the Yamu for the downstream towns and cities. The minimal flow was required to maintain the balance and the ecology of the river. The aqua life too needed water for survival, said Shravan Kumar Singh of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society in Agra. This had been one of the principal demands of the Yamu Muktikaran Abhiyan. Convener Radha Krishan Shastri said the NGT was doing a good job.

Last week, union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti said: “A pollution-free Yamu is a commitment of our government and we will do whatever is required to rejuvete both the Ganges and Yamu.”

She said a committee of the UP, Harya and Delhi government representatives will draw up a comprehensive plan for cleaning the Yamu and a minimal flow as desired by the tiol Green Tribul in the river shall be maintained. She said the NGT orders on encroachments on the flood-plains of the Yamu shall be strictly enforced. The demands and concerns of the people of Braj Mandal to cleanse Yamu shall not remain unheard, she assured.

Sharing details of the NGT order, petitioner Madhu Mangal Shukla, a river activist, said he had complained of illegal and unregulated solid waste disposal by the local municipality.

“A substantial part of the waste was being dumped on the river bed. Despite repeated requests, officials had failed to develop a trenching site and littering away just about everywhere the waste produced by the local people,” Shukla said. In its order dated August 25, the NGT had asked the petitioner to shoot pictures and video of the work done by the local sanitation workers and the garbage dumps to il the truth. (IANS)

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