The Indian Government has made a commitment to clean up River Yamuna, in addition to Ganga, and if Uma Bharti is to be believed then it intends on following through with that promise rather soon. The Water Resources Minister of India has stated that the national government is committed when it comes to cleaning up what is regarded as the second most important river in northern India. She has stated that cleaning Yamuna forms an integral part of Clean Ganga Project because the latter cannot be cleaned without the same steps being taken for Yamuna as well. A committee has been created for this purpose and it will be helmed by the Secretary of Environment Ministry.
Ganga Cannot be Cleaned up without Yamuna, says Uma Bharti
The said committee is also supposed to make a report pertaining to the demands that are being put forward by various circles for resuscitating Yamuna. The Indian Government will use this report when the work for cleaning the river starts. It is also supposed to present a bill at the Lok Sabha to interlink and clean the aforementioned rivers as well as ones that hold some importance in Indian religious pantheon. It is being stated that cleaning up the holy rivers of India was a dream of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Thus, it can be assumed that when these tasks are completed his dreams will have reached fruition.
Bharti has also had talks with the Chief Minister of Delhi and his counterparts in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for cleaning up Yamuna. She is hopeful that these discussions will yield some positive results. Gageshwarnath Chaturvedi works as a petitioner at the Allahabad High Court and has been working to make the River Yamuna pollution free. He has also met Bharti and asked her to clean the stretch of the river that comes between Vrindavan and Mathura at the earliest.
Indian Government provides Industrial Sector Some Respite
The central government has extended its previous deadline to industrial units located on the banks of Ganga to set up effluent discharge metres, which are capable of working on a real-time basis. The last date for installing these has been extended till 30 June. It is expected that this decision will provide these units some breathing space. However, the companies need to specify to the Indian Government if they are willing to abide by the dictum and that needs to be done by this week itself. The UP Pollution Control Board’s member-secretary JS Yadav has stated that the industrial units that agree to the directive will need to deposit the complete bank guarantee needed to install the said machines.
The previous deadline for agreeing to the directive was 31 March. It has been estimated that till now only about 50% of the organisations in question have initiated the process to install the machines in question. Previously they were supposed to pay only a quarter of the bank guarantee. However, they now need to act quickly enough so that the national government does not take any step against them. In case the industries are unable to install these machines at the right time then as per Avinash Akolkar – the Central Pollution Control Board’s member-secretary – the government could also close them down.