Tribune News Service
Jammu, March 4
The lifeline of Jammu, Tawi, also known as “Suryaputri”, may get a new lease of life in days to come as the newly formed PDP-BJP coalition government has decided to launch a “special initiative” to clean and beautify it on the pattern of the Ganga under the Prime Minister’s Regional Development Plan (PMDRP).
Although the government is yet to divulge the contours of its “special initiatives” to be launched to clean and beautify the Tawi, but it has incorporated it in its “Agenda of the Alliance”, which was released by the coalition regime after its formation on March 1.
Official sources said at least 18 big nullahs and several small tributaries flow into the Tawi and add to the pollution level in the river. Besides, over 100 metric tonnes of solid waste and sewage is being dumped on the river bed daily basis. Nearly 25 trucks and loaders collect the solid waste and sewage from various parts of the city and dump it on the river bed.
Various Jammu-based religious and social organisations had raised serious questions over the government’s attention to save the river as, according to them, it has lost its glory due to the rising pollution level. A survey conducted by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) revealed that the biological oxygen demand (BOD) in the river is nearly 24 times than the permissible limit.
The government’s move to launch special initiative for the cleaning and beautification of the Tawi has drawn appreciation from the Jammu civil society and activists associated with the mission, “Save My Tawi Campaign”.
“It’s of course appreciable that the common minimum programme (CMP) contains important issues like cleaning and beautification of the Jehlum and Tawi on the pattern of Ganga. I think, it is first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir that the political parties are taking a keen interest in environmental issues,” Raman Sharma, founder of the Save My Tawi Campaign said.
He congratulated the leadership of both the PDP and BJP and said he was hopeful that the words would be transformed into action and the coming generations would be able to see these water bodies having the same old glory they had decades ago.
Dewaker Sharma, an advocate and another founder member of the Save My Tawi Campaign, said, “This is indeed a joyous moment for all people associated with our campaign. The state is blessed with natural beauties, like mountains, islands, rivers, lakes and other water bodies, and if the new government comes with a policy it would be helpful not only in cleaning our rivers, but also be a major boost to the tourism industry of the state”.
The state government is constructing an artificial lake on the river to tap the tourists and pilgrims visiting Jammu. The prestigious Rs 140-crore Tawi lake project is one of the important initiatives of the state government so far taken to make the Jammu city attractive for the visitors.
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