Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia inaugurated ‘Nakshatra Vatika’, a garden developed on the theme of astrology, at the Yamuna riverfront near Civil Lines on Saturday. The garden is part of the larger project to beautify the riverfront and help clean up the river that has been reduced to a mere drain.
Nakshatra Vatika was the brainchild of the Delhi Jal Board’s horticulture department. The capital’s water minister Kapil Mishra said, “Delhi has been waiting for a green riverfront. We have delivered this at a meagre cost of ₹23 lakh. This proves two things: one that it can be done. And two, that it can be done at a low cost,” Mishra said.
The garden has also been hailed as a tribute to ancient Indian knowledge of astrology, with references to religious mythology and astrological symbols — be it bushes grown to spell ‘om’ or plants that are considered holy.
Keshav Chandra, DJB CEO, said the theme of astrology was an in-house idea and the park took less than two to three months to develop. “It is a low maintenance affair. It should not take more than ₹2 lakh to maintain it,” he said. Sisodia said the garden will provide the new generations a space to reconnect with the ancient Indian traditions. “Some of our traditions that stemmed from ancient knowledge have been deemed superstitious now. However, many of these practices have scientific backing too,” said Sisodia.
The minister expressed hope that the garden will deter people from polluting the river and the surrounding area. “When people will visit the area, they will see how green and clean it is. When something looks beautiful, they will also take care of it,” said the hopeful Mishra.
Yamuna river is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the country, with poor levels of dissolved oxygen that supports aquatic life and high levels of toxins.
“With a park here, officials will constantly visit the area, making them more accountable for the place. Also, once people start visiting the place more, they will realize they are spreading the filth, and will take care to protect it,” the deputy CM said.