Political Parties ignore Yamuna in their manifestos in Dehli Election
New Delhi, December 5, 2013: The Yamuna, which flows through the city of Delhi and provides drinking
water to millions of its inhabitants, has been given the short shrift by four main contending political parties — the Congress, the BJP, Aam
Aadmi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
With voting end on December 4, a comparative assessment of the manifestos of these four parties re-emphasises how the “city’s
lifeline” is of little consequence for the politicians. The AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal has emphasised that they will not allow
sewage and industrial waste to flow into the Yamuna and promised to end all encroachments in its flood plains.
Unfortunately, Mr Kejriwal’s promise of providing 700 litres of water
free to every family (18 million residents) will prove difficult to implement. Prof. Vikram Soni of the Jamia Millia Islamia, who has worked
extensively on the Yamuna, pointed out, “Delhi is already dependent on
its water supply from outside river basins. Instead of reducing dependency, we are moving to a situation where, if people are given
water free of cost, they will respect it less and waste it even more.”
The BJP is determined to constitute a “Delhi Yamuna Development Authority,” overlooking the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has
already constituted a River Yamuna Development Authority. The BJP’s manifesto emphasises on their determination to “beautify the
Yamuna like the Thames river and the Sabarmati river.”
However, Manoj Misra, who has led a decade-long struggle to clean the Yamuna, said,
“The Yamuna cannot be compared to either of these rivers. And as for the water seen as the Sabarmati (within the limited stretch of Ahmedabad) is
the Narmada river water illegitimately diverted from the drought-prone Kutch and Saurashtra regions. Downstream of Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati remains as dirty as ever.”
Experts blame the Congress for allowing the health of the river to deteriorate. Their lack of concern is reflected
in the Yamuna finding little mention in the Congress manifesto, except to state they will make every drop count.
The BSP has also made little mention of the Yamuna except a tame promise to clean it up. Source: Deccan Chronicle