The fate of Tawi river which is revered by Hindus as the Suryaputri is likely to end up like the river Yamuna in Delhi which has almost taken the shape of a nullah carrying city’s sewage, poisonous industrial water, and chemical of all hues which are pushed into the river. Jammu though is not as cruel to the river as it has lesser population, and low level of industrialization but still the fate of Tawi river is in danger unless the civil society, and the government take some corrective measures immediately.
A parliamentary standing committee which visited Jammu recently was shocked by the condition of Tawi river whose bed has been converted into a massive garbage dump. The garbage not only contaminates water but it also degrades the environment as parts of it is burnt despite directions from the National Green Tribunal that this was a illegal and wrong practice. The committee found heaps of garbage on the banks of Tawi, and the lack of proper solid waste management system was evident. Jammu which produces tones of solid waste does not have a plant which can treat this waste, and it is thus dumped on sides of Tawi, and in other parts of Jammu where there is no habitation. The impact may not be now but the ecological and environmental degradation does show up in the times to come. The quality of underground water will go bad, there would be leaching of the soil, and the air will be polluted. All this can be stopped if we simply become more responsible, produce less waste, and treat whatever is produced responsibly, and preferably recycle it.
So annoyed was the parliamentary panel that it questioned the right of Jammu to be called the capital city of the state when it did not have basic facilities. The panel also found major violations of master plan, zoning violations, poor condition of roads, and basic infrastructure, and a transport system which works in vacuum. The members of the board have exhorted the state government, and local civil society to take matters on priority else the river Tawi, and the glory of Jammu will get polluted forever.