Activists in Agra and Vrindavan on Sunday demanded immediate release of water into the dying Yamuna and a firm assurance from the union government that a minimum flow of water would be maintained as directed by the National Green Tribunal.
"Barrages upstream of Agra – Hathini Kund, Tajewala, Wazirabaad, Okhla and Gokul – have reduced the Yamuna to a sewage canal. When there is no fresh water in the river, how will the Mughal monuments survive?" asked Surendra Sharma, founder president of Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.
He warned that without water in the Yamuna, the Taj Mahal would collapse some day.
"The monument is already under serious threat from pollutants generated by the dry river bed, the stinking sludge and sewer waste compounded by industrial effluents," Sharma said.
He threatened to go on fast from November 1, if water was not released in the Yamuna.
Hoteliers Rakesh Chauhan and Sandeep Arora said the situation was indeed alarming and because of the polluted Yamuna tourism, had taken a beating in Agra.
"Without delay the state and central governments should construct a barrage on the Yamuna to ensure there was enough water in the river behind the Taj Mahal," they demanded.
Shravan Kumar Singh, coordinator of the River Connect Campaign read out a charter of ten demands to rejuvenate the dying Yamuna, the lifeline of the Braj Mandal of Lord Krishna’s childhood.
In Vrindavan, Friends of Vrindavan and Alliance for Culture and Ecology organised a clean up programme along the ghats with help from Gurukul students.
Earlier in the day, a photo exhibition on Yamuna Pollution was organised by journalism and mass communication students of the Central Hindi Institute here.