Thousands march to save Yamuna
Mathura, March 5 : Thousands of people, led by saints and activists from Braj region, continued with their foot-march Tuesday towards Delhi, demanding release of water from a reservoir in Haryana into the "dying" Yamuna river.
The march for the release of Yamuna river water from Hathini Kund (barrage) in Haryana, is scheduled to reach Delhi March 10. The people who started the march Friday, allege that Haryana has blocked Yamuna water at the barrage.
Their demands include the release of a minimum quantity of water into the Yamuna round the year from the Hathini Kund, some 100 km upstream of New Delhi, and effective checks on drains in the national capital that dump pollutants, effluents and sewer waste into the river - literally turning it into one huge drain.
"The march is...the biggest ever to save a dying river. Our people are going to Delhi to interact with parliamentarians and leaders to work out some agreement on our demands," Radha Krishan Shastri, a close associate of the chief of the movement Ramesh Baba, told IANS.
Ramesh Baba who leads the march, is upbeat and confident of success. "All acts done in the name of god never fail," he said.
Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Bhanu Pratap Singh and saint Jay Krishan Das continued to motivate pad-yatris, whose number is increasing each day with participation from more villages in the route.
Sunil Singh, one of the prominent campaigners told IANS: "We are already in Haryana, close to the toll plaza beyond Bajchari, near Palwal where we will camp tonight."
"The padyatris are in full josh and very passionate about the liberation of Yamuna Jal (water) from Hathini Kund. A large number of foreign devotees of Sri Krishna have joined," Singh said.
"The yatra (march) by thousands...to secure release of Yamuna water from Hathini Kund...has now assumed the form of a tornado that will sweep away any barrier till the demand was met," thundered Bharatiya Janta Praty leader Uma Bharti Monday evening, addressing the protestors.
A female Sri Krishna bhakt (devotee) from Germany told IANS: "It is both an environmental problem, as well as an issue of faith for millions who revere and worship Yamuna."
Meanwhile, traffic movement on the Delhi highway remains disturbed and disrupted. People and vehicles are finding it tough to negotiate their way through a mass of humanity chanting 'Radhey Radhey'.
"Luckily we now have the Yamuna Expressway to reach Delhi. Otherwise things would have been really bad," said businessman Rakesh Garg.
Some miscreants on Monday had pelted stones on trains and obstructed traffic on the highway, but the organisers soon controlled the situation before it could get out of hand.
"The real worry right now is how the Haryana government would respond to the rally which is primarily targeted against it which has stopped all the water in the Yamuna at Hathini Kund," said Shravan Kumar Singh of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.