Lockdown to be remembered for cleansing Tawi

A bitter truth about the nature is that it devises its own ways to correct imbalances. In other words, with a literary tinge, if it is said that when pain crosses the threshold of endurance, it becomes a cure. On umpteen times, we have been harping upon the need to rid the Surya Putri of the pollutants, dumping of garbage and other ways of muddying its waters but the river so much emotionally dear to us continues to be polluted and thus violated. Lockdown, we reiterate, has been such an inevitable and inescapable necessity that without it what could have been the situation in the country on account of the Novel coronavirus pandemic, perhaps, would shake even our imaginations. In other words, to break the chain of the spread of the virus and contain it effectively, lockdown measures have proved of tremendous gains in saving precious lives but not without paying a heavy cost that of affecting our economy to such levels which are ordinarily beyond comprehension. However, the other part of the lockdown is equally worth noting. Crystal clear water is what Holy Ganga is flowing with, so much so that its water is declared now even fit for drinking. Same is the case with River Yamuna where decades after, clean water is seen flowing. Needless to add, River Tawi is one of the top polluted rivers of Jammu and Kashmir but presently the situation is in contrast and quite heartening.
Looking to the quality of the water flowing in River Tawi currently, one feels delighted in seeing the level of crystallinity as compared to pre lockdown period seeing even which was a sort of emotional torture. In other words, the health of this river is very significantly improved just with the pollutants not getting straightaway discharged into it due to the imposition of the lockdown. We are afraid, lockdown has proved really a blessing, nothing short of a windfall for the environment – be it air sans smoke and harmful toxins and emissions or be it the water in water bodies which has transformed into clean, crystal and pure form. Can we not deduce, therefore, that those commercial establishments are to be squarely blamed that mercilessly choke and muddy the waters of the Surya Putri by diverting pollutants and waste material direct into this river. Not only the Pollution Control Board, National Green Tribunal etc have devised ways and procedures to rid river Tawi of pollution levels but even the Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has viewed seriously the continuous deterioration of its water quality.
Jammu and Tawi though two words are in fact just one word, one name – inseparable historically and emotionally from each other which denotes the significance and the importance of this lovely grand river flowing through Jammu but which is violated and disregarded hence polluted to sickening levels. A low BOD or Biological Oxygen Demand being indicator of good quality water has come about these days in this river only because of suspension of discharge of pollutants and dumping of waste material and garbage as also wanton washing of vehicles along its banks – all due to the currency of lockdown restrictions.
It is widely believed that not only the present generation is directly and indirectly suffering on account of rampant pollution but future generations are unlikely to condone our lack of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world that supports all life. Tawi is in no less measure supporting our lives but in turn is getting rampant abuse of its waters being polluted. Let it be ensured that untreated water of nearly two dozen nullahs do not go into the river. Let there be a legislation about awarding penalties of imprisonment and fine for polluting the rivers and water bodies and implement the provisions of the law strictly in the absence of which we shall be left with nothing but to rue and repent.