Vrindavan, 2017.04.13 (VT): Mathura MP Hema Malini conducted a surprise inspection of Vrindavan and Mathura recently. She was profoundly disappointed to see the amount of garbage still littering the streets of the holy cities.
It is an embarassment, said the MP, to have pilgrims and tourists come from all over the world, only to find the holy land filled with garbage. The responsibility, she added, lies squarely on the municipal heads of both cities.
When Hema Malini first became MP, she was enthusiastic to reverse the previous so-called development work, which had been substandard at best and outright damaging at worst. She was optimistic about bringing back the Vrindavan of her dreams, which was the reality just a couple decades ago.
But getting it done was another matter, as the officers in charge of overseeing the work failed to be straighforward with the MP. Further, the departments failed to collaborate, sometimes even blocking each other’s work.
“If I make an appeal, I can get thousands of trash bins installed in Vrindavan,” Hemaji said, “but who will maintain them?” Although she has brought up the matter many times with the municipality, there has been no tangible result.
With a convoy of representitives from the District Administration, the Mathura Vrindavan Development Authority (MVDA) and the Public Works Department or Lok Nirman Vibhag (LNV), the MP first visited the 100-bedded hospital in Vrindavan, and the Utility Center, which is currently under construction. Next they began their inspection of the parikrama marg where it crosses Atalla Chungi.
There, the MP questioned officers about the encroachment of shantys and tea stalls on the dirt path, which is supposed to be reserved for pilgrims walking on parikrama. She also interrogated them as to why there was still so much garbage, and why the iron railings alongside the parikrama path were broken down. While none of the officers was ready to take responsibility for the parikrama marg’s state, everyone was ready to lay the blame on other departments.
The MVDA said the development of the parikrama marg was the LNV’s responsibility, while the LNV insisted it was the MVDA’s problem. Ten years ago under BSP rule, the LNV undertook Vrindavan’s beautification and the MVDA was the nodal agency for the project.
Unable to give the MP the answers she wanted, they all assured her that the beautifucation of the Govardhan parikrama marg was going on very well. Upon reaching Keshi Ghat, the officers briefed the MP on the Yamuna riverfront development project. At this point, the MP addressed journalists, first pouring her ire on the hoardings (signboards) that obstruct pedestrian space on top of being an eyesore.
She continued to say that despite the incomplete state of development in the two holy cities, apparantly nobody cared enough to do something about it. The sad fact is that once people enter politics, they tend to pay far more attention to how they can advance their position and gain finacially, than to actually doing their job. This is the one and only reason why Vrindavan is in the state it’s in.
Now, with the new BJP state government, the MP has hope that the actual development of Vrindavan will finally start to happen. Soon, she said, there will be a joint meeting with officers from all the departments involved in development. They will have to cooperate and begin their work in earnest.
The MP added that the Muktakashiya Rang Manch in Mathura will soon be developed as a grand theatre where Braj artists will have an opportunity to showcase their work.