Vrindavan, 2019.04.29 (VT): The banks of Yamuna in Vrindavan that were once the dotted by sacred groves have been transformed into a garbage dump because of the incompetence and nonchalant attitude of civic authorities.
Despite the state government and NGT’s stringent guidelines, construction debris and solid waste is being plonked on river banks, particularly the area near Jugal Ghat. Devotees are deeply distressed to see the sanctity of the revered goddess being violated in such a manner.
Religious gatherings that are organised on the river bank without permission and approval of concerned authorities also add to the garbage overload as no one is held accountable for the consequences. Blaring loudspeakers further vitiate the atmosphere with noise pollution.
NGT lawyer Akash Vashistha expressed concern about the situation after examining the site on Wednesday. He said that around five years back NGT had imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the Municipal Corporation and District administration for similar offences in response to a petition filed by activist and social worker Mahant Madhumangal Sharan Das. However, even this hasn’t been able to shake the authorities out of their laxity.
He said that if the municipal corporation doesn’t act on the issue soon, the matter will have to be brought to the notice of NGT again.
It will be naive to assume that the menace is limited to Jugal Ghat alone. The heavy rain and windstorm that wrecked Braj a fortnight back exposed the failure of development and sanitation efforts in the Dham. Tones of garbage and debris were washed ashore on Ram Ghat and Krishna Ghat due to the flood.
Locals said that they hadn’t seen so much dirt accumulated in the Yamuna in 12 years. Even after the cleanup operation had been running for two days, a quarter of the refuse remained in the river and riverbank.