Chhath Puja: Delhi govt spraying 'poisonous chemical' in Yamuna to remove froth, says Manoj Tiwari
Chhath Puja 2022: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Manoj Tiwari on Thursday (October 27) accused the Delhi government of spraying a "very poisonous chemical" to remove froth in the Yamuna ahead of Chhath Puja, during which devotees take a holy dip in the river.
Reacting to the allegations, AAP MLA and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Vice Chairman Saurabh Bhardwaj said, "BJP leaders should learn something about science and technology.
DJB's anti-foaming chemical technology has also been recommended by central government's NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga)".
West Delhi MP and BJP leader Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma challenged Arvind Kejriwal to take a dip in the Yamuna and alleged that the chief minister's visit to the Ghazipur landfill site on Thursday (October 27) was a ploy to divert attention from the pollution in the river.
Addressing a press conference, Tiwari said the government is trying to hide its failure to clean the Yamuna by spraying a toxic chemical in the river.
"We visited the Kalindi Kunj area to take stock of the pollution situation of the Yamuna there. We were surprised to find that a very poisonous chemical was being sprayed to hide the froth. The people who were spraying it fled immediately after seeing us. We have lodged a complaint," the Northeast Delhi MP claimed.
He said the government "has stooped so low that it is trying to hide the ammonia phosphorus foam by pouring chemicals into mother Yamuna".
Ramvir Bidhuri on Yamuna River pollution:
In a statement, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said that Kejriwal always remembers cleaning the Yamuna during Hindu festivals, especially Chhath Puja.
As Chhath Puja ends, he gets busy with other work and this cycle continues, Bidhuri said.
"Kejriwal has been doing this for the last eight years and people understand it now. Because Kejriwal, who talks about taking a dip every time, has not taken any concrete steps to clean the Yamuna and it is evident as a white sheet of ammonia phosphorus foam is floating atop mother Yamuna," he said.
Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma on Yamuna River pollution:
West Delhi MP Verma challenged Kejriwal to take a dip in the Yamuna river.
"He (Kejriwal) says he has cleaned the Yamuna and will take a dip in it. I call upon him to take a dip in the river two days from now," he said.
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Attacking Kejriwal over his visit to the Ghazipur landfill site, Verma said, "Is garbage the issue at the moment? To divert attention from the issue of pollution in the Yamuna river, the Delhi CM reached the Ghazipur landfill site."
He also said the MCD is doing good work in the area of waste management.
Kejriwal visited the Ghazipur site and said the upcoming MCD polls will be fought on the issue of garbage. He promised to clean Delhi in five years if his Aam Aadmi Party wins the elections, which are expected to be held at the end of 2022 or early next year.
In a tweet, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj hit back, saying the Centre's 'Namami Gange' initiative had also suggested using an anti-foaming agent in the Yamuna.
He stressed not every chemical is poison.
"We will provide cleaner ghats and foam-free Yamuna on Chhath Puja for the devotees" he asserted.
He accused BJP leaders of running away from the real issues that concern the impending MCD elections.
"The allegations are a ploy to shift attention from the 15 years of misgovernance in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)," Bhardwaj alleged.
Hitting back at BJP leaders for "spreading fake news regarding the holy river Yamuna", he said it is "absolutely stupid and incorrect" to say that "a poisonous chemical" is being used to suppress the foam in Yamuna.
"Chemicals don't mean poison. Even chlorine and Alum that are used to clean water are chemicals," he said.
Last year, pictures and videos showing devotees offering prayers in the froth-filled Yamuna on Chhath Puja had triggered a political slugfest between the AAP and the BJP, prompting the Delhi government to take measures like installing bamboo nets and sprinkling water to dissipate froth.
In a related development, the Delhi BJP will issue a helpline number to help devotees.
Earlier this month, the Centre had set up a joint committee of stakeholders, including National Mission for Clean Ganga, Upper Yamuna River Board, Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi government's Department of Irrigation and Flood Control and Delhi Pollution Control Committee to oversee and coordinate efforts to control and minimise the froth formation downstream of the Okhla barrage in the Yamuna during Chhat Puja.
(With PTI inputs)
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