(Feature image by Nishant Panwar, Vikas Nagar, shows Yamuna River in upper reaches in Jan. 2019)
On April 11, 2019, is the birthday of Yamuna river. The Yamuna Jayanti comes every year on the sixth day of ‘Chaitra’ (summer) Navratra. The Kapat (door) of famous Yamnotri shrine would be opened this year on May 7 for Char Dham Yatra.
In April-May 2019 India will vote to elect 17th Lok Sabha or Parliament. On April 11, the 1st of the 7 polling days, the home state of Yamuna river, Uttrakhand and the districts of Western Uttar Pradesh through which Yamuna river flows, will vote.
The two other states heavily dependent and Yamuna river, Haryana and Delhi will see voting on May 12. The district Mathura, Agra, Etawa, Kanpur, Hamirpur, Fatehpur and Allahabad of Uttar Pradesh located along Yamuna river will witness voting from second (April 18) to sixth phase on May 12.
The NDA government come to power in May 2014 promising clean Ganga and Yamuna. The thousands of devotees of Mathura and residents of Agra were especially convinced of a promise of clean flowing Yamuna river. People were also hopeful that the government of the same party, BJP, in centre and in key basin states of Yamuna (Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh) would bring a change in the situation. But over the five years, things have only deteriorated further. In fact, under the present government apart from dams and pollution a illegal sand mining has emerged as equally dangerous threat for the Yamuna rivers from upper reaches through middle and lower stretches.
On the occasion of Yamuna Jayanti, the Yamuna Nadi Mitra Mandli (YNMM) a voluntary group of villagers and concerned; established along the length of Yamuna by Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan is highlighting the issues affecting the Yamuna river and riparian communities which have remained unaddressed during past five years and none of the political parties even now have remotely focused on these. They also warn that ignoring the problems of Yamuna and dependent community will soon affect every state and dependent people in a significant way apart from endangering the river itself.
Tomorrow on 12th April is Yamuna Jayanti the birth anniversary of River Yamuna. The festival is also known as Yamuna Chhath and is celebrated on Shashthi sixth day of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month that falls during Navratri. The auspicious day commemorates the decent of Goddess Yamuna on Earth and is therefore celebrated with great pomp and show in the city of Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh.
While thousands of devotees and dependents seek Yamuna’s blessing and wish the river to flow eternally and keep providing sustenance and livelihoods to millions on the occasion to celebrate the day SANDRP has managed to collect the latest pictures of the River all through its entire 1376km length right from Yamnotri the origin place till it merges into Ganga at Allahbad. The pictorial report clearly shows the bleak future of the river which is also the largest tributary of our national river the Ganga.
In new year 2016, State Government of Uttarakhand must act against burgeoning amount of solid and liquid waste being put in Yamuna River in its home land.
River Yamuna appears flowing pollution and waste free in Himalayan stretch. But close observations go against this popular notion and paints grim picture of huge amount of waste finding its way in the river on a daily basis. This account highlights the issue in detail and urges State Govt. of Uttarakhand (UK) to take remedial actions before it is too late to reverse the degradation of the River.
Yamnotri is famous shrine and thousands of pilgrims and tourists frequent the place during Char-Dham Yatra held every year. These visitors, in absence of better options or for hygienic reasons prefer using bottled water, packaged foods (biscuits, snacks) and plastic disposals as food servings. As a result solid waste in massive amount is generated through the pilgrimage season which ultimately goes into the holy river. It’s worrying that this has become a norm for past many years.
Beyond Barkot (first small urban town on Yamuna river) Yamuna Valley opens into Ranwai Ghati, inhabited by typical mountain community. Kharadi is one such place located 12 KM farther from Barkot on National Highway (NH) 123 in Uattarkashi district. The small marketplace but major ‘Char Dham’ pilgrim’s halting point 35 KM before the Yamnotri Shrine is divided into three parts (Upper, Middle and Lower Kharadi). Kharadi still cherishes much of the fast vanishing pristine charms and hardships of hill life. Notably, the word Kharadi itself is derived from ‘Kharad’ a traditional skill of harnessing kinetic energy of water to produce wooden products. Continue reading “Kharadi in Yamuna Basin: when Small Hydro unleashes big destruction”→