In parched Bharatpur, unmarried men wait for Yamuna water – and brides

A group of unmarried men submitted memorandum with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje demanding Haryana to release Yamuna water in Gurgaon canal

jaipur Updated: Jul 07, 2017 21:02 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times
Youth, most of them unmarried, on way to meet divisional in Bharapur on Friday.(HT Photo)

Battling an everyday struggle due to the acute shortage of water in their district, young men in Bharatpur now face a new strain they don’t quite know how to handle. As the neighbouring Haryana sits on Rajasthan’s repeated pleas for release of water from Yamuna river, villagers, especially the unmarried lot, in at least two blocks – Deeg and Nagar – in Bharatpur have moved a new request before the central and state governments: help us get married.

A group of men rallied its way through various intersections in the city on Friday to submit a memorandum, via Divisional Commissioner Suvir Kumar (Bharatpur range), to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, pointing out their unusual quandary of being turned down as marriage prospects by families in nearby villages and bordering states owing to the lack of water in their region. The official confirmed receiving the memorandum, and said it will be forwarded to the senior officials.

Already, hundreds of farmers have been sitting on a dharna for the past six days in the district’s Jondela village demanding release of Yamuna water through the Gurgaon canal. As per the water-sharing pact signed by five states – Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan – on May 12, 1994, the Central Water Commission had sanctioned 1,281 cusecs of Yamuna water to Bharatpur but Haryana has refused to follow the directive.

Bharatpur currently receives 500 cusecs through the Gurgaon canal in Haryana and 300 cusecs through Agra canal in Uttar Pradesh.

The central government, so far, has not intervened in the matter despite CM Raje urging the Haryana government and the Union water resources minister Uma Bharti to release the water to Bharatpur, even shooting off threats of blocking development works related to the neighbouring state.

While the two states wrangle over the sharing of the natural resource, the men in Bharatpur are losing sleep as age catches up with them and they continue to wait for families willing to marry off their daughters in this parched region.

Dharamvir Singh, a native of Mavai village, said families from Agra, Mathura, Hathras, Aligarh and Govardhan in Uttar Pradesh have married off their daughters to the youths of Bharatpur in the past but are now ignoring the proposals citing lack of water.

“We live barely 35 km from Yamuna and 100 km from Ganga,” Singh points to the irony while expressing his anguish over the scarcity of what is a basic necessity.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 20:53 IST