Agra green activists observe ‘Jhunjhuna Day’

Agra: Scores of river activists and concerned citizens today observed Jhunjhuna Day by making rattling sounds at the Etmauddaula View Point park, along the bank of the dry river the Yamuna.

Jhunjhunas or rattlers are offered to kids to keep them busy or divert their attention when crying.

The river rattlers said, “all that we have got in the double engined government in return for promises is a noisy jhunjhuna.”

Before coming to power in the 2014 elections, prime minister Narendra Modi himself had promised an International Airport at Agra and prompt measures to rejuvenate the dying Yamuna. When Yogi Adityanath came to power in 2017, he too made several promises for the eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari repeatedly promised to start ferry services from Delhi to Agra for tourists. Several other leaders promised IT park, international sports stadium, an agriculture university, AIIMS status to the century-old SN Medical College, the protesters said.

Expressing deep resentment, Devashish Bhattacharya said “all Agra has got so far is this jhunjhuna,” waving his rattler. Bhattacharya wondered why the BJP’s nine legislators, three MPs, one mayor, were silent and exhibited such extreme apathy.

For more than 40 years the agitation for a bench of the Allahabad High Court has been going on. The Jaswant Singh Commission report is hanging fire, but the double engined government shows reluctance is fulfilling its promises, members of the River Connect Campaign said.

The whole world is alive to the pathetic condition of the river Yamuna along whose banks are sited some of the best architectural showpieces, but the Yogi government has been totally indifferent to the demands for cleaning and constructing a barrage downstream of the Taj Mahal. The flow of water in the river has reduced to zero, and flows down is simply waste and effluents from upstream cities, including Delhi.

Many of the directives of the Supreme. Ours and the National Green Tribunal have not yet been implemented and Agra continues to remain highly polluted even after forty years of judicial activism, in the wake of the PIL by MC Mehta.

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