Pollution in Malegaon,
Hazardous emissions no case for MPCB
Mausam River that originates from the historic Saler and
Mulher mountains divides Malegaon-the Muslim dominated textile
city in North Maharashtra in two parts. While the western part of
the city is having Hindus as its majority inhabitant, the
Rajpura (Uttar Pradesh): Animal carcasses are not to be dumped into the river, washermen
should not use chemicals to wash dirty clothes, the river bank is
not to be used as a toilet and no polythene bags - these are among
the measures villagers in Rajpura, in Mathura district of Uttar
Pradesh, have planned as part of their campaign to clean up the
Hundreds of villagers from Rajpura, a few kilometres upstream of
Vrindavan in Mathura district, Sunday pledged support to the
campaign to save the Yamuna river from pollution and make its
With people from 73 villages in the district joining, the campaign
has become the biggest public initiative in the region against
The man who leads the campaign is Mathura's Chief Development
Officer Ajay Shankar Pandey who, during his earlier stint in
Ghaziabad, had changed the profile of the polluted Hindon river.
Talking to IANS, Pandey said: "We told the villagers not to wait
for others for what they could on their own. It is about saving a
dying river, a holy river at that. A series of meetings and
interactions with the village leaders and activists helped us draw
up a plan of action. We are now putting that into practice."
"We are confident that once the villagers lead and show the way,
the city people will not remain idle spectators but will get
involved," Pandey added.
A super body called the Yamuna Mitra Panchayat will oversee the
operation river clean-up.
"A whole lot of agencies have been roped in, including the
panchayti department at each block as well as at the district
headquarters and the departments of village development,
irrigation, horticulture and fisheries. They will coordinate with
the Yamuna Mitra Panchayat to ensure the success of the mission,"
a confident Pandey said.
Each village will have a committee with the pradhan as the
chairman. The committee will have three members - two panchayat
members and either the panchayat secretary or any one interested
in water conservation.
Yamuna enters Mathura district near Chondrash village and passes
through Banger, Raipur Banger, Tilak Garhi, Barka, Chonki Banger,
Bhadaiya and Madaur. After Saraisal the river enters Agra
Despite being one of the most sacred rivers in India, the Yamuna
in Mathura presents a picture of total neglect.
Court petitions have led to the construction of the Gokul Barrage
in Mathura. However, it has not made any difference to Yamuna's
pollution. The river runs like a huge sewage canal transporting
industrial effluents and municipal waste.
According to Pandey's plan, the committee will ensure animal
carcasses are not thrown into the river. Washermen will not be
allowed to use chemicals to wash dirty clothes in the Yamuna. One
pond in each village will be marked for washing clothes.
The committee will also stop people from constructing latrines or
using river banks as toilets.
The panchayat will ban polythene bags and offenders will be
"The villagers will also ensure that idols, toys painted with
harmful dyes and puja materials are not immersed in the river.
Separate bins will be provided to collect such material," he said.
The villagers will also help identify the canals and drains
discharging into the river, which will be diverted to other routes
or would be fenced to fish out polythene and other non-degradable
The plan further includes river ranching, which would be
encouraged as it is one of the natural ways of river cleaning,
according to the official.
"The movement will for the first time see each villager
participating. This can also help in dealing with industrial
pollution too. Within a year I assume the water quality would
improve significantly," Pandey expressed his optimism.
(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at email@example.com)