Officials in New Delhi are busy preparing to welcome representatives of the United Nations these days. People from various parts of the world will converge here on June 5 for the World Environment Day. This year’s theme is Beat Plastic Pollution. As the host, it is India’s responsibility to take a meaningful initiative on this issue. Though, plastic, in India, is only a part of the massive problem of pollution.
To begin with, some bad news. The stream of water in the Yamuna has become so feeble in Haryana and areas adjoining Uttar Pradesh that people are unable to even immerse the remains of their loved ones. As a result, instead of cremating them, nearby villagers have begin burying the remains of their loved ones. They are now waiting for the rains. After it rains, the Yamuna’s stream will once again get stronger and the souls of their ancestors can rest in peace.
This isn’t happening for the first time. The trend has only strengthened over the past three decades. The conditions have worsened so much that the devout who gather for the Ganga Dussehra in the border areas of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana don’t have enough water to carry out the aachman (a customary sip of holy water before the religious prayers). Some enterprising people have begun to deploy diesel pump sets on the banks of the Yamuna to provide them with water. One wishes they understood that this isn’t a problem that can be solved in one day.
After getting this news when we begin to investigate, the correspondents from Hindustan found that the Ganga is also drifting into a similar situation. In Varanasi, right in between the main flow of the river some islands of sand have emerged. These are so big and solid that some daredevil youth have been carrying out stunts on their bikes on these. As we already know, the Cauvery and the Krishna dry up for more than 100 days of the year, before they can complete their course. As they originated from the Himalayas, the Ganga and the Yamuna used to be exceptions to this. The Himalayan glaciers sent them to the plains and a number of small rivers also contribute. That these two rivers will reach such a scenario was something that was unimaginable till a few years ago.