Manushi and Jal Biradari are organizing a three-day meeting to discuss the New Yamuna Action Plan. It will cover YAP 1 [Yamuna Action Plan] and the agenda for YAP2. Minister for Environment and Forests Mr Jairam Ramesh will participate in a dialogue on 10 February.
On 5 January 2010, Rajendra Singh of Ganga Jal Biradari and Madhu Kishwar of Manushi Sangathan had gone to meet the Environment Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh to seek his intervention in stopping illegal mining being carried out on the Ganga river bed in Haridwar and instituting urgent remedial measures to stop the flow of sewage water into Mother Ganga from the thousands of public toilets being constructed for the 2010 Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
A detailed report of the speedy and positive intervention made by Mr Jairam Ramesh and the impact of his 9th January, 2010 visit to Swami Shivananda’s Haridwar based ashram, Matri Sadan, which was the site of the Save Ganga Satyagraha, will be sent to you shortly. He assured the young sanyasis who were on their 87th day of fast that the Central Government is committed to stop illegal mining and will ensure that sewage generated from lakhs of people coming for the Kumbh does not flow into Ganga. One of the young sanyasis – 25 year old Swami Poornanand broke his fast in Mr Ramesh’s presence. 20 year old sanyasi Yajnanand on fast since 18th November, 2009 is in Roorkee jail and Brahmachari Dayanand who has completed 90 days of fast and is currently in District hospital with a nasal drip since he stopped taking even water when the jail authorities tried force feeding him—will break their fast only when the Uttarakhand government yields to their demands.
In addition, Mr Ramesh endorsed our demand that the New Ganga-Yamuna Action Plans be implemented in a transparent and accountable manner with active participation of civil society, especially citizens settled on the banks of these rivers. He expressed keenness for an in-depth dialogue on this issue with all those who have been active in the Save Ganga Yamuna campaigns at various levels. To facilitate such a dialogue which will enable us to arrive at a consensually agreed upon agenda for action, the Ganga Yamuna Jal Biradari and MANUSHI are jointly organizing a three day meeting from 8-10 February 2010.
The program will be as follows:
8th February, 2010: Environment Ministry officials will present a detailed report on the New Yamuna Action Plan and share with us their review of why the first Yamuna Action Plan failed. Thereafter, the invited group of experts and activists will discuss the agenda of action required to make the second Yamuna Action Plan avoid the pitfalls of the first YAP and the institutional mechanisms required to make it transparent and accountable with legitimate space for the active engagement of citizens in its implementation. Venue: Gandhi Darshan
9th February, 2010: Presentation of the new Ganga Action Plan and a review of the failure of the first GAP by officials of the Environment Ministry followed by day long deliberations between experts, activists, opinion and policy makers with a view to arriving at a consensually agreed upon agenda of action to be presented to the Minister. Venue: Gandhi Darshan.
10th February 2010: Dialogue with Mr Jairam Ramesh on the consensually arrived at agenda of action regarding institutional mechanisms required to make the Ganga Yamuna Action Plans a success. Venue: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House.
The New Ganga-Yamuna Action Plans can avoid the tragic fate of the earlier Action Plans only if Government and civil society join hands to stop killing our rivers by converting them into sewers and nurture them with reverence from their origin to the end point.
As an acknowledged expert on the subject, we feel your participation will be invaluable for the three days Consultation in Delhi from February 8-10th. We hope together we will be able to evolve and present a consensually agreed upon Program of Action to the Environment Minister for effective monitoring of the Ganga Yamuna Action Plans.
Read more about Manushi Sangathan.