Vrindavan, 2017.03. 05: Indiscriminate dumping of debris in Yamuna river banks threatens the river eco –system in Vrindavan. Yamuna is rapidly changing its course due to the accumulation of debris from large scale construction around Vrindavan and rampant illegal mining on its banks.
The dumping of debris has remained un-checked on the Yamuna bed even after rulings from the National Green Tribunal barring the dumping of debris on the riverbed and its floodplains. The district administration of Mathura hasn’t taken any step to prevent the illegal dumping, even after several complaints made by the river activists. Yamuna flows for a stretch of 5 km in the city starting from Varaha Ghat. Instead of taking the debris at the landfill site, people are dump debris along the river banks. As prolonged dumping of debris encroaches river area, people in the riverside are using this new land mass to develop colonies. The new colonies have come up on the entire stretch near Kaliya daha and Old Madan Mohan Temple.
Such scenario was also observed near Bhramar ghat and Cheer Ghat areas. Hence, the river flowing for a breadth of around 500 meters on an average has shrunk les than 100 meters in several places. During the floods, it will pose serious problem to the city areas.
The locals claimed that it was a regular practice that bullock cart full of debris are dumped at Bhramar Ghat, Chirghat and Yugal Ghat areas on the river bed. Sometimes the debris is brought in tractor-trailers also to fill the Yamuna bank.
The dumping of the debris on the Yamuna bank continued unchecked for more than two decades, burying the spectacular heritage ghats of Vrindavan. Several Ghats have been disappeared under the mounds of debris.
According to the rules to manage construction and demolition waste, the local bodies have to commission construction and demolition waste plants – mainly to recycle them. No such plants do exist in Vrindavan or in the Mathura district.
The law came as the Center was of the opinion that this dumping in river beds, open spaces, drains and forest areas is unscientific and any violation would lead to penal provisions according to the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
The ‘mindless’ filling of the river be to build the Parikrama of Vrindavan, has in fact, helped the land mafias who reclaimed the land of Yamuna to develop the colonies. The modern ‘Parikrama Marg’, which was built after filling the debris on the Yamuna bed, has turned into a busy motor-able road, which has become very dangerous for the devotees who perform Parikrma. It is a life risk for those who perform the ‘Dandavati Parikrama’. The environmentalists have warned that constant dumping of garbage and rubble is fraught with dangerous consequences. These include implications on the river flow, raising the flood hazard by the city people, causing their displacement, pushing down the groundwater recharging and destroying the environment
Leaving the meandering flow of the river, the remaining river bed area was used for growing vegetable and flowers. But now the flow has been restricted to a narrow channel and people are reclaiming the remaining area for the developing colonies there.
Vrindavan has almost lost its magnificent Yamuna ghats to the greed of the people who buried them to reclaim the Yamuna’s land. If the dumping is not prevented the little area left between Keshi Ghat to Bihar Ghat will also be lost, which could well turned into a heritage corridor.