Save-Garga cry grows louder
More than 50 green crusaders on Sunday staged a four-hour dharna on the banks of Garga near Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue in Bokaro’s Chas demanding immediate government attention to free the choked river from pollution and encroachments.
The protesters, who launched the dharna around noon under the banner of Swasthya Evam Paryavaran Sanrakshan Sansthan, pledged to stop the flow of effluents into the river, considered as the steel town’s lifeline.
The 46.5km Garga is a tributary of Damodar that originates from Kasmar and flows through Bermo and Chas.
Convenor of National Mission for Clean Ganga Bhushan Dubey, who also took part in the protest, promised full support to the environmentalists to make the river clean.
“Efforts would be made to rope in the government to help us prevent the flow of sewage water and effluents into the river,” he said.
Sansthan general secretary Mukul Ojha said, “Garga is being polluted by drain water of Chas Municipal Corporation areas and industrial effluents. The water body is also facing encroachment in Chirachas where several multi-storied buildings have come up on the riverbed reducing its flow into a mere trickle.”
“We will meet chief secretary Sudhir Tripathi to discuss the issue with him. If pollution and encroachment still continue unabated, we will seek legal intervention by filing a PIL,” Ojha said, adding that they would carry out plantations along the banks and organise seminars to generate awareness about the river.
“Awareness is the key to creating public opinion about pollution of rivers. We also celebrate Vriksha Pujan (plant worship), Vriksha Sinchan Divas (plant watering day) and Vriksha Deepawali besides taking out rallies to spread the message of conservation,” he said.