When Water Hyacinth Becomes A Visual Delight !
Jyoti Sharma, President FORCE posted this in Jal Rakshak on June 4th, 2010
Dear Jal Rakhsaks, Advisors & Partners
Yesterday, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, came to the Neela Hauz lake to check on the status of its revival. She walked around, peeped over the flyover’s handrail and said – this looks nice and green. But where’s the water?
The water was under the ‘nice and green’ – the hyacinth that was choking the lake! When she was told this, she took a snap decision – “till the Commonwealth games, don’t touch the area -let the hyacinth be – atleast it makes the area look green. Let DDA make its detailed revival plans and then work on it.”
…..And with that one pragmatic statement – made for the visual pleasure of people who couldn’t care less for us – she condemned the living lake to another year of slow asphyxiation.
Then she looked around, a little puzzled, and asked to be driven around to look for something –“ a lovely curving road that went through the jungle. “
We tried to tell her that this bridge had been made to replace that same road. She refused to believe it – till, we showed her the google map, with that lovely winding road; and then drew on that map the new bridge cutting across the heart of the lake.
I cannot forget the expression on her face, as realization finally hit home. A mishmash of regret, genuine loss, helplessness but stoic acceptance….
Dear Madam CM, can I ask you a question ? Can we really right a wrong that has been committed? Can we ever give back to the Neela Hauz, and others like it, its innocence, and pristine, untouched calmness?
I remember, many moons back, dragging along the then Deputy Commissioner of Vasant Kunj to the Neela Hauz.. I made him stand on a DJB pipe cutting across the lake – in the hope that seeing such an oasis of peace in this concrete desert, might arouse in him, the desire to protect its innocence. I do not know whether he tried, but if he did not, I’m sure that when he sees the lake today, the memory of that moment will come back to haunt him.
The Neela Hauz will live… but as a sad shadow of itself. A symbol of the uneasy truce between man and nature. Does it have to be this way??
Jal Rakshaks, on World Environment Day tomorrow, let’s take a pledge… To create a society that re-learns to live simply, in harmony with all other God’s creations. Where destruction is a function of need – not of an unbridled desire to conquer all.
Jal Rakshak Advisors & Partners, It was one stroke of a pen that sanctioned this Neela Hauz bridge – and condemned the lake to a slow death. With just one stroke, you can destroy… or preserve forever! So, will you take a pledge too – to always listen to the silence of nature before making that stroke??