Stay on Yamuna beautification cheers activists
Agra, Oct 21 (IANS) Greens on Friday hailed a court ruling on a Yamuna beautification project in Vrindavan that was seen as a threat to heritage structures, ghats and ASI-protected temples.
Despite protests from activists, construction work on the floodplains of the Yamuna began a month ago.
The activists had urged the Uttar Pradesh government to seek no-objection certificates from the departments concerned and the National Green Tribunal.
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the beautification project.
“We complained to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which has clear guidelines on starting construction close to heritage and protected structures. The ASI registered an FIR against the government departments, but the work did not stop,” said Shravan Kumar Singh, Vice President of Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.
Petitioner Madhu Mangal Shukla said the High Court had stayed all construction work on the project. The next date of hearing is November 28.
Of the many ancient ghats along the Yamuna, only a few remain now.
“The Yamuna earlier helped in natural flood control, groundwater recharge and promoted biodiversity. Encroachment and dumping of garbage over the years have posted a threat to the river system,” said one activist.