New Delhi: Activists heading the Yamuna Bachao Andolan on Tuesday threatened to sit on an indefinite fast from Wednesday if the government failed to release more water into the river.
Thousands of people, led by spiritual leaders and activists from the Braj region in Uttar Pradesh, who marched on foot for weeks to reach Delhi on Monday, demanded release of water from Hathini Kund barrage reservoir in Haryana into the "dying" Yamuna.
"We have got instructions from our Ramesh 'Baba' of Barsana Mandir who initiated this march and has asked the activists to be ready for a fast from Wednesday, as it seems the government only wants to buy time and does not intend to commit on releasing water," Pandit Udayan Sharma, national adviser of the NGO Yamuna Rakshak Dal, told IANS.
He said they met the Water Resources minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday, who accepted many of their demands, but did not commit on releasing water.
"Many of our demands have been accepted, but there is an issue about the quantity of water to be released from the reservoir, which is a pressing issue for us. The minister is refusing to give in writing on the quantity of water to be released. They will decide on it tonight," he added.
The NGO is demanding the release of at least 70 per cent quantity of water from the reservoir into Yamuna all round the year.
Sharma said the government agreed to form a committee for a policy revamp and check drains in the national capital that dump pollutants, effluents and sewer waste into the river.
The march was launched on March 1, 2013, from Vrindavan against the government alleged failure to make the river pollution-free.