A walk by the river

The party’s over, but the cleanup is far from done on the Yamuna floodplains

ByIshan Kukreti
A walk by the river
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It has been almost a month since spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar hosted the World Cultural Festival on the Yamuna floodplains. Not much water has flowed since then and the summer scorch has begun, so Newslaundry returned to the spot that was at the centre of controversy.

The place seems to be in a very ‘good’ condition — sprawling stretches of firm soil, pleasantly green in parts, it looks like the perfect picnic spot or a cricket ground.

But here is the catch. This is supposed to be a floodplain and one of the things you don’t do on it is play cricket. In its elements, a floodplain is a swamp, which means it should be wet and lush with wild flora and fauna.

But here, there are no birds or animals. Instead, there trees that have been uprooted, mounds of garbage and metal skeletons of the mammoth structure that was set up for WCF. Workers, contractors and their cleaning equipment and vehicles dot the landscape. According to a contractor on site, Vishal Singh, the area will be cleared within 10 days.  “The work was slow due to the Holi vacation and rain, but now it is on full swing,” he said.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will hear the review application by Manoj Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan (YGA) on April 21.

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