The construction of a guide bund on Yamuna near Kalidah area in Vrindavan has irked the Yamuna activists. The UP irrigation department is constructing an embankment on the Yamuna, with a budget Rs. 3.45 crore to prevent the possible flood in Vrindavan.
The allegation of connivance between the mafias and the officials has been proved to be true with the construction of the guide bund, which seemed to be a unnecessary wastage of money. Several attempts have been made by the officials in the past to damage the Yamuna floodplain with the mindless projects.
In last two decades the officials have been designing ill planned developmental projects to protect the interest of those who have illegally constructed building on the floodplain. The Yamuna enthusiasts have always alleged the collusion between the land mafias and the government officials for a long time. Several projects were also challenged in the courts. Now it has been proved again by the recent step taken by the UP irrigation department, which constructed embankment on Yamuna to safeguard the illegal colonies during the flood.
In an apparent instance, the government departments have supported land mafia in setting up colonies on the flood plains of Yamuna in Vrindavan and have completely failed in restraining them. The environmentalists alleging that land mafia, in connivance with administration officials, have encroached on the floodplains of the Yamuna to build colonies on them. The Yamuna bank is considered to be very sacred as Shri Krishna performed Maharas on the bank of the river Yamuna. The entire flood plain could be used to increase the green cover.
While the administration claims of initiating action against the illegal sale of land in floodplains of Yamuna, the construction beyond the ancient ghats on Yamuna tells the harsh story of how land sale has been happening in the area with the silent consent and support of the government departments.
The floodplains have been encroached with concrete and permanent structures that are bound to cause ecological havoc in the form of floods besides upsetting the natural hydrological cycle of the areas situated close to the rivers.
Different courts have passed directions to prevent the illegal construction on the Yamuna flood plain in Vrindavan in time to time. The Allahabad high court had even passed an order to demolish all the illegal constructions on the flood plains. But instead of removing the illegal constructions, the officials have silently provided all the facilities to the encroachers by laying sewer lines, installing electricity poles, arranging potable water and building roads.
Now the government has installed studs on the Yamuna with Rs. 3.75 crores, to protect the land and the illegal colonies. The recent development has raised concern amongst the activists, who claim this to have a devastated effect on Yamuna. When the irrigation department was approached by the media, its Assistant Engineer Shri Sanjeev Tiwari said, “ the current project has nothing to do with the illegal constructions or encroachments. It is being executed purely to prevent possible soil erosion to protect the Kalidah Ghat.”
Yamuna enthusiast Vijay Kishor Goswami said, “The bund is being built 500 meters away from the Kalidah Ghat. There are several concrete structures between Kalidah ghat and Yamuna. There is a concrete road of Parikrama Marg after the ghats and the then the illegal construction. So the claim of the possible flood effecting Kalidah is baseless. Hundreds of acres of fertile land in the flood plain on Yamuna have been constructed upon with the illegal colonies.”
“River Yamuna has been under siege for many years along its entire length. Rather than working with the conservationists and architects to restore the unique ghats and bringing the course of Yamuna on it, the officials bring in ill designed plans, which is against the original character of Vrindavan,” added Goswami.