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Questions crop up over washed away Agra saplings

Sunday - August 25, 2019 5:54 pm , Category : SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Agra, Aug 25 (IANS) Planting of thousands of saplings on the Yamuna river bed and their washing away in the recent flooding of the river have raised hundreds of unanswered questions, here in the city of Taj Mahal.
While some are questioning the plantation drive itself in public discourse, others have taken to social media to ridicule and allege corruption.
Around 35,000 saplings, planted on the river bed near the Agra Water Works and Haathi Ghat close to the Agra Fort, have been lost to the rising water level. According to a corporation official, Rs 10 lakh had been spent on planting these saplings.
The saplings were planted with much fanfare by the Agra Mayor and other dignitaries as part of the UP Chief Minister's ambitious project to plant 22 crore saplings on a single day on August 9.
Even then local activists had raised objections over the manner and the location of the plantation drive.
Shravan Kumar Singh, an environmentalist who is planning to file a petition under the RTI, said no one, including corporators, is ready to own the responsibility as the saplings had got washed away.
The social media too is abuzz with the issue. Nidhi Pathak, a social activist, said on Facebook "faltu ke kaam karenge to nuksan hoga hi."
Ashwini Paliwal, another activist, posted: "They must have planted only 3,800, but will collect payment for 38,000."
Some activists are also planning to file a petition in the National Green Tribunal.

--IANS bk/skp/