Vrindavan, 2016.12.10 (VT): “The heritage ghats are on the brink of destruction, and it has been apathy on the part of the citizens of Vrindavan for not raising voice to protect their own heritage. The entire series of Yamuna Ghats must be excavated and restored in Vrindavan ,” said Akash Vashishtha, an environment activist who is fighting legal battle in NGT for preserving Yamuna’s original course.
Vashistha was in Vrindavan on Friday and interacted with the local activists, who are fighting to protect the river side architecture. He also visited the entire series of the ghats to asses the damage done to the heritage monuments, while executing Chief Minister’s dream project of Riverfront Development. He found that the ancient ghats have been painted, cemented, lined with bathroom tiles in many places.
Shri Vashishtha also visited Vihar Ghat where the Tirtha Purohit Parivar is excavating the ghats, which was buried under the debris for several decades of ignorance. He took the relevant pictures of the work done under the government’s developmental projects, sewer pipes laid on the river bed, sheet piling, and the damage done to the ghats by the project.
Acharya Naresh Narayan, National Coordinator of the Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance informed Vashishth that there was no need to develop new river front as Vrindavan has a rich history of ancient river front, which was developed by the then princely states. “While the Ganga ghats of Kashi (Varanasi) are grand with many steps, the ghats on Yamuna, in Vrindavan are rich in its miniature architectural value. They need to be protected at any cost to save the heritage icon of Vrindavan”, informed Acharya.
Shri Sanjay Ballabh Gautam said, “Vihar Ghat was built in 17th Century by Appa Ram of Dakshin. It was completely buried under the debris and rubble. We brajwasis have voluntarily excavated this ghat and uncovered up to 25 steps. The Archeological Survey of India and the state Archaeological department should acquire all the ghats to preserve them.” “He further added, “The Parikrama Marg on the side of Yamuna is built on the debris. It should be brought down so that Yamuna can be brought back to its original course,”
Talking to the media Akash Vashishtha said that he would request the court to appoint a court commissioner to visit Vrindavan and submit a report on how the river was forced by the consecutive governments to change its course.