The march to secure release of water from Hathinikund in Haryana to flush the Yamuna river appears deadlocked. The central government has categorically told activists this would not be possible.
The only reconciliatory gesture the central government was willing to offer, activists told IANS, was to allow water to be released for the Braj area of Agra from other sources.
Parleys continued till midnight, but yielded no satisfactory results.
“They are only fooling us. Our original demand stands. We want water released from Hathinikund. If they don’t agree, we will continue our protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and later move towards Hathinikund,” Radha Krishna Shastri, an aide of Ramesh Baba of Barsana who is spearheading the movement, told IANS on phone.
Shastri, however, indicated that the group would engage in a few more rounds of talks with the central government representatives Wednesday to see if any agreement was possible.
One volunteer confided in IANS: “Many marchers are now keen to return. Some face-saving formula will have to be worked out later in the day.”
“Late-night parleys between the government representatives and the yatra crusaders had kindled some hope, but uncertainly prevails,” said eco-activist Shravan Kumar Singh.
The Maan Mandir -- Barsana ascetics say there is nothing new in the offer made to construct a canal to intercept the drains in Delhi, as the Supreme Court had already set a deadline in the matter.
“Harish Rawat (union minister for water resources) told us some water would be released for Vrindavan from a canal. But this could have been done by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also. We are here to get water released from Hathinikund and we will not go back till that is granted,” a key member of the core group leading the marchers told IANS.
The Haryana government has told the centre and the protestors that the 1994 agreement between the three states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan was being followed, and that the agreed quantity of water was already being released into the Yamuna.
Sources ruled out the possibility of Haryana agreeing to release any more water into the river.
“Farmers in Haryana are heavily dependent on Yamuna water, and canals that divert the water from Hathinikund. Farmers will never agree to a move to release more water. There are fears of full-scale confrontation if any efforts are made in that direction,” said a Haryana politician, refusing to be named.