Letter to Lt. Governor of Delhi– Securing Yamuna Bridges

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Letter to Lt. Governor of Delhi– Securing Yamuna Bridges

Posted by Manoj Misra


Sri Tejendra Khanna,
Hon’ble Lt Governor

Respected Sir,Greetings from Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.Sir, you would agree that the state of river Yamuna in the city today represents the worst form of environmental degradation that a human society can inflict upon any natural system. A recent city wide survey conducted jointly by CMS Environment and us revealed as a ‘sign of hope’ that the majority in the city considers the citizenry as much responsible as the state agencies for the sad state of the river. This co-responsibility is best exemplified from huge amounts of untreated sewage and other muck of the city draining into the river (state’s default) as much as irresponsible acts on the part of citizens when they keep dumping / throwing all kinds of waste (including left overs from puja etc) into the river unmindful of its harmful impacts on the already beleagured river.

Accordingly in a true spirit of hope we are trying to embark (in partnership with several other likeminded NGOs and individuals) upon an experiment where we ‘adopt’ a bridge in the city for the following:

a) Desist (through pursuation and an offer to receive their stuff for safe disposal) people from misusing the bridge to dump stuff into the river

b) Use the immense outreach (in form of banners, placards and leaflets) potential of the bridges over the river to educate the public at large for the river

We had run a one day test initiative on these lines on the HNZ Bridge (NH 24) on 14 August 2009 (Janmashtami day) and found that the people were more than willing to dispose safely their puja left overs provided an alternative was made available to them. It is a sad commentary on the lethargy of the public service state agencies like the MCD where despite a court order (High Court of Delhi) directing them to identify locations (and make arrangements) along the river where people could safely dispose off their puja left overs, no action has yet been taken.We propose to keep a daily vigil (through volunteers) at the HNZ Bridge for a month (hopefully) beginning tomorrow, September 1, 2009.

We shall be on one hand be present on the predestrian walkway on the bridge with banners (on the bridge fence) and placards on our person and personally try to dissuade such persons who wish to throw things into the river. On the other hand through leaflets, stickers etc try to educate the masses that it is as much ‘your’ responsibility as that of the state agencies to revive the river.

In this endeavour we request your honor in your role as the first citizen of NCT of Delhi, to kindly grace the event as per your convenience and timing. While we are fully aware that protocol, security considerations and a busy schedule may not be too conducive for you to personally attend such events, we still hope that your honor because of your rare capacity to think and act out of the box, might still find time for the needful. In any case we would be glad to receive your blessings in whatever form you deem fit. With warm regards,

Manoj MisraConvenor —