Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
White foamy froth from detergents, dead animal bodies, domestic garbage packed in polythene bags, construction site debris, and stink all around! That is the pathetic scene at the Yamuna river between Babar’s Ram Bagh to Jahangir’s Etmauddaula to Akbars Fort and Shah Jahan’s Taj Mahal a few kilometers downstream.
These glorious Mughal monuments were sited near the waters of the holy Yamuna, revered by Hindus as a goddess. But alas! Due to the apathy of successive governments, the Yamuna is a stinking sewage canal today.
Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.
The flow of water has reduced to a trickle as upstream barrages have held back all the fresh supply. The small quantity that is discharged at Okhla barrage is diverted to the Agra Canal. What flows down to Agra is industrial effluents, drain water released by human settlements on the flood plains, and sewage discharge from towns like Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Palwal, Vrindavan, and Mathura.
“It makes little sense to measure the level of pollution in the water, because the liquid flowing down is not water by any definition,” according to activist Sandeep Agarwal of India Rising.
Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.
As the temperature has now started dropping, the pollution level has gone up many times. The aquatic life is under threat due to the depletion of oxygen in the water.
The four months of the general lockdown and shutdown of monuments for six months proved a healing time for nature. But scanty rain in the Agra region and now garbage burning and the festival season is pushing up the pollution level again.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
Despite global concern expressed from time to time over the high level of air and water pollution in Agra, posing a threat to the safety of the 17th-century monument of love, the Taj Mahal, and another half a dozen Mughal monuments in and around the city, neither the state government nor the central authorities have taken appropriate measures to contain the environmental threats, say green activists.
Even union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has forgotten his promise soon after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, that he would start a steamer service to ferry tourists from Delhi to Agra. Not one baby step has been taken to clean the river, desilt or dredge the slush to make way for uninterrupted flow of fresh water in the river, says Shravan Kumar Singh, vice president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.
Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has two Lok Sabha members and one Rajya Sabha member, nine MLAs, one mayor, one district board chairman. It is the ruling party both in the state and at the Centre, but sadly all of them have collectively failed to restore the good health of the Yamuna river. Over the years, thousands of crores of rupees have been squandered on cleaning the Ganga and the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, but both the rivers continue to remain in a pathetic condition, laments environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya.
Most big and small rivers in India need attention. A nationwide program to clean, desilt, dredge the river beds is long overdue. The opposition parties too have been equally guilty of not taking up the cause of rivers and lakes and other water bodies, river activists in Agra say.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: ‘जंगलराज’ के सहारे सत्ता तक पहुंचने में जुटा राजग !
To keep the river alive a regular minimal flow in the Yamuna round the year should be the first priority of the government. The share of water for downstream cities has to be released by Haryana and Delhi. “This is the first requirement to ensure that the river did not die and the rich aqua life was protected as also to bring down the pollution level.”
All the drains from Delhi to Agra opening into the river have to be diverted. Not a single drain should be allowed to discharge untreated wastewater. The UP pollution control board should identify and take appropriate action against polluters. The Pollution Act provides jail terms and penalties for polluting community water resources, river activists said. At least one meter of silt has to be removed so that water seeps, percolate, and raises the water table of the city, activists Rahul Raj and Deepak Rajput said.
Years ago, the Supreme Court had ordered shifting of dairies, dhobi ghats, and transport companies from the Yamuna Kinara road, but the district administration has failed to comply with the orders. One wonders what the River Police squad is doing, as people are still seen defecating on the river bed, as in the past, green activist Padmini Iyer said.
Also Read: Why Choose Parimatch Casino India?
River activists demanded immediate action on the Yamuna barrage project hanging fire for at least two decades for want of political will. “The Yogi government has already sanctioned a Rs 350 crore rubber check dam downstream of the Taj Mahal, but for reasons unknown, and of course the indifference of the local politicians, the project remains a non-starter,” said Dr. Harendra Gupta, a medical practitioner. Six feet of standing water behind the Taj Mahal, Etmauddaula, Ram Bagh has to be ensured, to keep the monuments healthy and safe from pollution, apart from adding to the scenic ambiance, he added. (IANS)
The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Jammu and surrounding areas are sensitive in terms of the strategic importance. Some months ago, there was an attack on an Army installation using drones. Will the 'drones for vaccines' be permitted in such a case? Allaying fears, a top official from the Ministry of S&T said, "The drones would be deployed by authorised agencies such as hospitals, not anybody can use it, nor would any random person be permitted to use it."
NAL has called the drone as 'Octacopter' and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. It can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organs (such as heart for heart transplantation) etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a powerful on-board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc., S&T officials had said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Jammu, Vaccines, Medicines, Deliver, Drones, Centre
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods