A delegation of the Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance led by Shri Madan Bihari Dasji met the District Magistrate of Mathura, Shri N.G. Ravikumar, to present a memorandum on the laying of 25 foot deep sewage line in the Vrindavan, Parikrama Marg. The delegation communicated the BVHA’s concern that the sewage line near Kalidaha on the Parikrama Marg.
They noted that while underground water can only be found at a depth of 15 feet, it would be disastrous if the potable water were to be contaminated in the areas where the sewage line is being laid. The Yamuna, which has been Vrindavan’s lifeline for centuries, is now polluted. If the ground water is polluted, this will cause trouble for everyone. Access to pure drinking water is a fundamental human right.
The District Magistrate asked the delegation to find independent civil engineers who can go through the project plan and find flaws in it. The D.M. said he would welcome any expert comment on this issue and will organize V.I.P. treatment to any independent engineer who comes from outside to evaluate the plan.
Subsequently, the BVHA core-members decided to request the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi to study the government plan and comment on it.
The delegation comprised of Madan Bihari Das, Naresh Narain, Ram Narain Brajwasi, Chandra Lal Sharma, Jagannath Poddar, Shri Krishna Saras, Vishnu Pada Das, and Madhumangal Shukla..
The delegation met the D.M. following the decision made in the general meeting of the BVHA. Addressing the gathering Baba Sohani Sharan ji Maharaj, currently in-charge of Shri Radha Bawri, said that the saints of Vrindavan took many initiatives of water conservation, but the blind race for development has destroyed our water culture. Shri Radha Bawri is one of such initiatives taken in the past.
Shri Radhe Shyam Beriwala, a prominent social worker, said that the 25 feet deep sewerage line laying in the Parikrama Marg by the government will bring disaster for Vrindavan. The Yamuna which is used to be life line for Vrindavan is already polluted now there is preparation to spoil the underground water.
BVHA convener Shri Bal Krishna Gautam said that the area where the sewage line is being laid is on the Yamuna flood plain, therefore underground water is available in ten feet deep. BVHA assistant convener Acharya Naresh Narain said that hand pumps in that locality are already pumping out water mixed with the sewage as the sewage treatment plant built nearby under the Yamuna Action Plan has already been spoiling ground water from before. So the whole scenario is a complete disaster.
BJP city president Shri Krishna Saras said that a memorandum has already been presented to the Divisional Commissioner of Agra on this issue, but no action has been taken so far on it. Dr. Chandra Prakash Sharma and Ram Narain Brajwasi from the Panda Sabha said that this is the time to save Vrindavan or we will only read about this holy town in religious books.
Many others also addressed this meeting and it was unanimously decided that the delegation led by Shri Madan Bihari Baba should be sent to meet the District Magistrate with the memorandum.
Just off the Mathura Road, a few hundred meters down the Gurukula Marg, one comes to the Radha Bawri ashram, which is run by the Haridasi sampradaya based in Tatia Sthan. They own at least five acres of land, which they preserve in a traditional manner. They have a goshala and have also been planting a lot of trees lately. There are many peacocks, koils and other birds that are rarely seen in the Vrindavan of today.
This place is the site of Haridas Swami’s birth. The actual name of the village is Rajpur. A bawri is a walk-in well. Unfortunately, the water in this well doesn’t look particularly clean these days. The surrounding area is typical old Vrindavan, though the greedy eye of developers and land-mafia types seems to be on it. For more pictures, see this Facebook album.