Girls sitting amongst the ruins of their homes along Delhi’s Yamuna banks, which were demolished in 2004.
In this issue:
- Power plants and industry want more Yamuna water:
This week, there were reports of a new Coca Cola plant near Dehradun (opening in 18 months if all goes according to plan) planning to use Yamuna surface water. Local organizations are concerned that the plant’s water usage will negatively affect the areas hydroelectric (referred to as “hydel”) plants along the river.
Meanwhile, the new Bara hydel plant coming up on the Yamuna near Allahabad has scholars, local residents and farmers worried: “The Bara project will draw 150-cusec water of the Yamuna per hour, which the farmers fear will drain smaller streams that feed the Yamuna, adversely affecting cultivation. Engineering experts opine that the drain of water will also drastically affect the water supply here, which according to a recent study by Allahabad University has a depleting groundwater level.” A Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan article on the Bara project notes the high levels of pollution it will contribute doe to the burning of both coal and “heavy oil” and cites other disputed projects like a coal-based thermal plant at Mau, Chitrakoot (which has not yet received environmental clearance) and Karchana, U.P. which has been subject to land dispute with farmers now protesting for nearly 1,000 days.
Cited articles: http://www.eng.chauthiduniya.com/coca-colas-dehradun-plant-water-supply-to-hydel-projects-threatened/
- Petition against Lakhwar Dam Project signed by over 200 in first week – Please sign and share!
Save Yamuna to Save Vrindavan has created an online petition addressed to the Prime Minister of India and other key officials involved with the Lakhwar Dam project to voice concern about the project. The online petition is in support of the petition already addressed to these politicians by eminent lawyers, activists, groups and individuals last week. To read the petition, which offers reliable evidence as to why the Lakhwar Dam Project should not move forward, and to sign the petition, please use the following link:
The petition garnered 200 signatures in its first week, but this is not nearly enough to register on politicians’ radars. The Lakhwar Dam Project has no local level planning, no alternative plans and no impact assessment. The Lakhwar Dam project includes two dams and one barrage, starting just 120 km from Yamuna’s source at Yamunotri, and would submerge an estimated 868 hectares of forest and 50 villages.
- Delhi-based NGO for sustainable Yamuna opposes rezoning of Yamuna floodplain:
As mentioned last week, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is planning to re-zone of some areas of Yamuna’s banks to allow illegal constructions such as the Delhi Metro Yamuna Bank station, while slums are set for demolition. According to the April 24 Hindustan Times article, the DDA plan, with its permitted developments, will reduce the 10,000 hectare riverbed by 20%.Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, a Delhi-based NGO serving the Yamuna, takes the issue up in an open letter to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, arguing against the re-zoning for the sake of the river’s health. The letter also points out that people living on the same land being re-zoned to allow industrial and government developments were forcibly evicted between 2004 and 2006 (see www.yamunagentlyweeps.com for information about this, including a documentary film). Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan asked that any law on use of the Yamuna floodplains be applied equally to all instead of evicting people from slums (called “JJ clusters,” – standing for Jughi Jhopri – in the letter) while allowing other projects.
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) experts organize joint workshop with religious river activists and organizations tackling river issues:
Last week in Rishikesh, IIT jointly organized a workshop on Ganga and Yamuna with Holy Ganga and Ganaga Action Parivar. Sarva Dharma Sansad, Green Pilgrimage Network, The Clean Ganga Initiative and World Conscious Pact were also represented at the conference. There was very little reporting on the workshop and he only outcome repeated throughout the press was that the workshop attendees agreed that at least 51% of Ganga and Yamuna should be allowed to flow freely at all times.
Cited article: http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/dehradun/workshop-mulls-ways-to-save-ganga-yamuna.html
- More information about film project focusing on hardships faced by children along the Yamuna downstream from Delhi:
“Rescuing the Stolen River” director Krishna-lila dasi spoke to ISKCON News about her film project. The article focuses on the shock that viewers will experience from seeing the illness and death that occurs on Ymauna’s banks. Krishna-lila dasi says,”The film is shocking, because the reality is shocking,” says Krishna-lila. “Unless people’s hearts are touched, there will be no change.” She also talks about the mass march from Vrindavan to New Delhi to demand a cleaner, freer flowing Yamuna and marks this as a “major victory”. The film, set to release this fall, is going to be screened at festivals and universities and be made available for television.
Cited articles: :http://news.iskcon.com/node/5078
- Delhi government publishes its 2013-14 water supply and sanitation plan and budget
Delhi’s water and sanitation plans, including dams, pipeline repair, wells, water treatment and more. It includes 30 crore rupees budgeted for Yamuna Action Plan III activities, which are supposed to be focused on sewage treatment plant construction and upgradation. A quick look at the report shows that plans for sewage treatment hold Delhi’s population constant – so that although by 2021 there is a projection to treat the entire city’s sewage, that will only happen if there is zero population growth!
Cited article: http://delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/18af3c004f725cfaa190b3beae5848ca/72-81+Water+Supply.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&lmod=2017535994&CACHEID=18af3c004f725cfaa190b3beae5848ca&lmod=2017535994&CACHEID=18af3c004f725cfaa190b3beae5848ca
Huffington Post article looks at Delhi’s Yamuna Bank farmers:
According to the article, “the Yamuna farmers present a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, they are a very significant subject for urban agriculture globally in terms of the sheer scale of their production. But at the same time, there is the imminent threat of development and it is unlikely that the farmers will exist in this capacity for much longer.” Farmers do not own the land that they work. Note: many recent studies have found that items grown on Delhi’s Yamuna banks or are even washed in the river’s waters have high levels of toxins and are not fit to eat!
Cited article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-redwoodmartinez/urban-agriculture-in-delhi_b_3231174.html
Travel blogger features Yamuna activists:
The faces behind India Water Portal (Minakshi Aroroa and Kesar Singh) and Yamunabachao.org (Ashwini Kumar Mishra) are featured in this travel blog about activist efforts for the Yamuna taking place in Agra and Delhi. The article seeks to point out small victories in the overwhelmingly large battle for the river. These include Mishra’s success in getting the Agra government to set up water treatment “lagoons” for sewage and Balbir Singh Seechewal’s success gathering community members to clean Punjab’s Kali Bein and get local governments to take notice and act.
Cited article: http://cdepman.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/the-other-side-of-the-taj-mahal/
Every week, Vrindavan Today presents a summary of articles and news about issues affecting the Yamuna River from around the web and elsewhere. If you have Yamuna-related news that you would like to see published here, please email Katie Jo Walter at [email protected]. To stay up to date with the latest Braj Vrindavan devotion and development news, please follow the Vrindavan Today RSS feed and bookmark our site, which offers articles in both English and Hindi: www.vrindavantoday.org. Also, please join our Facebook news and discussion group for Yamuna issues at:www.facebook.com/groups/saveyamunasavevrinfdavan The group currently has close to 4800 members. We would love to have you help us reach the 5000 mark!
Vrindavan Dham ki jai!
Yamuna Maharani ki jai!
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