On the first day of the vigil at Nizammuddin bridge organised by non-government organisation Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, volunteers collected 21 packets of refuse which would have otherwise found their way into the Yamuna.
A month-long vigil will be maintained on the bridge to save the river from being turned into a dumping ground.
“We started the vigil at strategic points on the Nizamuddin bridge. Around 12 volunteers were present in the forenoon session, when the maximum collection of the material brought for dumping into the river was effected,” said YJA convenor Manoj Misra.
Referring to the experience, he said: “All kinds of people came up to throw/dump material into the river. But most with few exceptions agreed readily to hand over the material to our volunteers. Around 21 packets were finally collected. One couple had come all the way from Dwarka for making their offering to the river. Informing them that this is hardly a river at the moment would not cut much ice with them. Ultimately with great reluctance they handed over the plastic bag which carried the material they wanted to dispose of into the river.”
Mr. Misra pointed out that it was easy to identify the spots from where people throw refuse including materials of religious significance into the river. “People prefer to throw things where water stands. Hence the length to be covered is easily determined. The key lesson is that if only MCD were to have a well advertised collection point at one site on both the bridges (there are two adjacent bridges on National Highway-24 and two more are coming up), the river can certainly be secured at least from the bridges.”