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Yamuna river news 2016

 Insect poop threatens to damage marble at India's Taj Mahal


LUCKNOW, May 28, 2016: Insect poop threatens to damage marble at India's Taj Mahal: Swarms of insects breading in a polluted river near the Taj Mahal are threatening the intricate marble inlay work at the 17th century monument to love by leaving green and black patches of waste on its walls, archaeological experts said Monday.

Workers scrub the walls clean every day, but the regular scrubbing can damage the floral mosaics and shiny marble surface, said Bhuvan Vikram of the Archaeological Survey of India.

"A series of marble panels depicting plant motifs on the walls or reflective tiles used in this part of the monument are becoming disfigured," Vikram said.

Authorities are looking for a permanent solution to the problem created by the insects from the genus Goeldichironomus, a type of elongated fly that resembles a mosquito, that is proliferating in the polluted Yamuna River. The river has stagnated to the point that it no longer supports fish that once kept the insects in check, environmentalist Yogesh Sharma said.

In addition, heavy algal growth and deposits of phosphorus from ash dumped by a nearby cremation ground "are the primary source of food for this particular species of insect," said Girish Maheshwari, who heads the Department of Entomology at St. John's College in the northern city of Agra.

The Taj Mahal, one of India's most cherished tourist attractions, brings millions of visitors to Agra every year. Archeologists are also struggling to protect the monument from air pollution, which turns the marble yellow and brown.

The Taj Mahal was built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1654 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and houses their graves and a mosque. PTI

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Cremation grounds along the Yamuna

 Yamuna river

NEW DELHI, September 23, 2015: If there is one thing which has lived with the Yamuna apart from the pollution, that is the cremation grounds along it. As the black river reluctantly flows, the smell of burning flesh is almost unavoidable if you are on boat and approaching the Nigambodh Ghat, which dates back to the days of the Pandavas.

Leaving the sheds built for pyres to be burnt, people prefer to perform the last rites on the course of the river. “There is a huge rush here because this is the oldest, and famous people have been cremated here. It’s like everyone wants to cremate their loved ones at a famous place,” says a worker.

When asked how the river is important to the place, he says, “In Hinduism, a flowing water body is needed to perform the last rites. The ghat wouldn’t have existed had it not been the Yamuna.”

There used to be many such ghats along the Yamuna banks when the population was a fraction of what it is now and there were no electric crematoriums, he says. It is only during monsoon when the water level is high that people use the sheds built for this purpose.

Over the years the ghat has also become a sort of tourist spot with many people, especially foreigners, coming in to meditate here and in the nearby ghats of the Yamuna Bazar. Source:


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