First-Ever Yamuna Maha Aarti In DelhiWishesh Special

November 14, 2015 10:22
First-Ever Yamuna Maha Aarti In Delhi },{First-Ever Yamuna Maha Aarti In Delhi

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A promise from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over revival of the Yamuna in the coming five years, lifted spirits of hundreds of people. "Yamuna will have life and you will be proud of it," Kejriwal said while addressing a gathering of thousands of people at Qudsia Ghat who came to participate in the first-ever Yamuna maha aarti.

An entity in which the Delhi government and center have equal stakes will be handed over the river, land and floodplains from Palla to Okhla. It will have complete authority on all Yamuna issues.

Highlights of Yamuna maha aarti on Friday

•    Inspired by the ones held in Rishikesh and Varanasi on daily basis.
•    Drew representatives from religious organizations.
•    Seven priests from Varanasi's Ganga Sewa Nidhi, other priests from Delhi were invited.
•    Daya Dham will continue the practice on Qudsia Ghat.
•    Hundreds of lamps were lit up the banks of the river.
•    Devotees worshipped chanting "Yamuna Maiya ki jai".
•    Cultural program from Manipur attracted audience before aarti.
•    Program was on Kathak perfoemance and Dhol Cholom.

Kapil Mishra, tourism minister, said, "Yamuna mirrors the system and the corrupt administration. But now, Delhi is changing and Yamuna is also changing."

It is known that Kejriwal performed a Ganga aarti in Varanasi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. According to the Ganga Sewa Nidhi members, Kejriwal personally invited them to conduct the ceremony in Delhi.

Ganga Sewa Nidhi member, Surjit Kumar Singh said, "Manmohan Singh had come to our aarti in 2010, Modi and Kejriwal had also come. I think aarti can help evoke respect for the river in people's minds. We ask devotees in Varanasi not to pollute Ganga.”

The claim from the Daya Dham members is that donations will be raised to conduct Yamuna aarti and not government funds. The cost to organize the Ganga aarti is Rs 2-3 lakh per month. However, the environmental experts opine that there is no clarity on the functioning of the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Meanwhile, doubts were raised by environmental experts over the message sent by the aarti to people against river pollution.

Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan Manoj Misra said, "I was called to participate in the aarti. I went there but didn't participate. I don't think we have the right to pray to the river yet since there is no river there. We have not done enough yet. But it must be acknowledged that it's a good effort by the government to involve people."

Misra added, "They should focus on implementing the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) of decentralizing the waste water treatment to address pollution in the Yamuna as soon as possible."

Few Facts about Yamuna River

Ironically, the river water is very dirty at Qudsia Ghat. As per the data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the biological oxygen demand (BOD) in River Yamuna is 39 mg/l. BOD is a common measure for the amount of polluting organic material in the river. BOD is nearly 13 times more than permissible limit. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) is 116 mg/l.


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