Agra citizens, including young boys and girls, Sunday launched a massive cleanliness drive to rid the Yamuna of garbage dumped in it.
Aimed at conserving heritage monuments along the Yamuna besides cleaningthe river itself, the drive, named River Connect Campaign, succeeded in fishing out tonnes of garbage, including up litter, polythene bags, plastics, immersed idols in the river, construction material, from the river during the day. Besides youngsters, senior citizens too actively participated in the river cleaning drive, working as volunteers of various voluntary organisations. Talking of the drive, River Connect Campaign member Jugal Kishor Pandit said, “People have been dumping all sorts of domestic waste in the river. Thousands of idols were immersed in it.” “After the water level went down, the garbage dumps have resurfaced and are attracting insects, mosquitoes and even bodies of animals are piling up on the river bed spreading the stink,” he added.
A large number of foreign tourists stop at the Etmauddaula view point park, near the tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, commissioned by emperor Jahangir’s wife Nur Jahan for her father Mirzā Ghiyās Beg, to take shots of the monument, said environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya.
“But what they see along with the monuments is a dying river with carcasses, litters and factory waste dumped in it. The government agencies hardly bother to clean up the area. The toxic effluents are corroding the foundations of heritage buildings. A very sad picture indeed!,” he lamented.
Green activists are planning to replace the garbage inside the river with greeneries all along its bank.
“There is an urgent need to plant trees along the river banks to keep the environment clean. We are planning to take up this challenge and will soon ensure there are greeneries all around the river instead of garbage in it,” said green activist Vineeta Mittal.
NGO India Rising president Sandeep Agarwal said, “We have been cleaning and painting public spaces continuously for past several years. We have now zeroed on this stretch of river and we intend to beautify it after getting rid of its garbage.” PTI CORR RAX RAX