In an attempt to have a cleaner Yamuna flowing through the Braj area, union water resources minister Harish Rawat has suggested infusion of fresh water downstream of Okhla. This could be a combination of both Yamuna waters diverted from the Hathni Kund barrage as well as Ganga waters through the Hindon cut.
His suggestion came after marathon meetings with leaders of the Yamuna Rakshak Dal. Thousands of volunteers of the group had marched to the national Capital from Vrindavan demanding a cleaner Yamuna.
"We have requested Haryana to release water downstream of Okhla rather than at Hathni Kund. We will identify the canals and work out the modalities. Haryana has agreed in-principle. This would be 50 cusecs of water, which Haryana is supposed to release as the river's share, without affecting its own share," Rawat told HT on Thursday.
"Similarly, we have requested Uttar Pradesh to divert Ganga water from the Hindon cut to reach Yamuna downstream of Okhla. After all, it is Uttar Pradesh (UP) government's water and will benefit portions of the river in that state only. UP too has agreed in-principle. Together, it can be about 200-odd cusecs of water," he added.
The other demand of the save Yamuna campaigners was preventing sewer and industrial effluents from entering the river. "There is a committee of experts, which will report to the Supreme Court in connection with the 'Mailee Yamuna' case. We suggested that two members of the Yamuna campaigners should join this committee so that they are aware of the developments," the minister added.
Meanwhile, announcing the conclusion of the Yamuna padyatra undertaken by the Yamuna Rakshak Dal, Mahant Jai Kishan Baba from Barsana on Thursday said they were happy with the first set of promises by the government.