Mathura, 2015.02.14 (VT): Hema Malini, Member of Parliament from Mathura, was presented with a road map towards the ecological and cultural conservation of Vrindavan. A delegation from the Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance (BVHA) met the cinestar turned politician to present her with an outline of areas of concern to the residents of the holy town.
Shri Tota Ram Upadhyay, President of the Brahmin Mahasabha, led the delegation. During the meeting with the MP, the BVHA suggested that any development in Vrindavan should represent the ancient cultural values of Vrindavan. There should be immediate ban on the sale of all kind of non-vegetarian food in Vrindavan and the town should be given the pilgrimage town tag.
The BVHA urged the MP to make a heritage corridor on the Parikrama Marg from Varaha Ghat to Tatiasthan. The proposal emphasizes to remove the rubble from the old ghats that are now buried under several feet of debris. It was further insisted that the Yamuna ghats of Vrindavan should be turned over to the ASI (Archeological Survey of India) for protection.
The delegation expressed their concern over where the next Kumbh Mela will be organized as the site on the Yamuna bank is being encroached and concrete buildings being put up on that site. Dr. Chandra Prakash Sharma said that the Vrindavan Kumbha Mela is very special as it is also called the Dev Kumbh, as all the gods congregate on the bank of Yamuna along with the saints.
Echoing Dr. Chandra Prakash’s concern Jagannath Poddar said that the Kumbh Mela site should be protected and can be used as the Mela ground for the religious functions. He added that many places where the Braj 84 kos parikrama camps have also been encroached upon. There are not many places where devotees can put up tents to camp overnight during their Braj parikrama. The Kumbh Mela site can be used to facilitate pilgrims in this way.
Ram Narayan Brajwasi and Acharya Naresh Narayan made a demand for more green patches, nature trails, and a peacock sanctuary. They advocated for massive tree plantation on both sides of Yamuna to make it a dense forest. They complained to Hema Malini that the forests of Braj have been replaced by a concrete jungle. They complained that no effort has been taken by the government to revive the greenery of Braj.
Madhumangal Shukla raised the issue of the pasture land for cows. He said that many former pasturing grounds have been grabbed and existing pasture land needs protection. He also pitched for the cow economy through modernizing the Gaushalas. He said that Braj-Vrindavan should be made a model place for cow protection. Agricultural colleges should be opened in Vraja to do research on cow products.
Many other issues such as the monkey menace, traffic congestion, cleanliness, etc., were also discussed.
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