There is some water in the Nag River, thanks to whatever rains the city received a few days ago. Of course, it is going through a dry spell, but the Nag has at least some water that is flowing. Despite the filth that the city dumps into its river -- officially and non-officially -- it is a good sight to see water actually flowing down there. This is one sight one is waiting to see all the year long. For when the rains come in torrent and the Nag flows in full stream, it is a sight one stores in memory -- to sustain in the rest of the year. But then, there is another ‘flowing’ reality of the Nag -- that there always is some water in it all the year. For, the civic authorities have managed to release the city’s dirty sewer lines straight into the river.
So, there always is some water in the Nag, no matter how dirty, no matter what sort of pollution it is causing. This is how the Nag remains the city’s biggest garbage dump yard officially. And then there is the non-official side to this, too. Not to be left behind in the race to add filth to the city, the people of our good old Nagpur dump every day countless thousands of tonnes of garbage of all sorts, including bio-medical waste such a lumps of human flesh, into the 44-kilometer long gutter which we happen to call the Nag River that is described as a signature of the place -- Nagpur! Oh wow! Oh, how dirty! Oh, how .... ! (No words) And when the people dump garbage into the alley called Nag River, there is not a line of remorse on any face. Much to the contrary, there is an obvious shamelessness, and obvious arrogance, an obvious ... ! (Again, no words). Shamed by their own inaction, the civic authorities planned several initiatives to clean up the Nag River, but to no avail.
And the reason has been simple: There is no seriousness about this project. Everybody is callous -- yes, everybody in the civic body, and also in the State Government and also in the Central Government. Nagpur, thus, offers the world’s filthiest of examples of how a city fools itself officially and non-officially. One has often wondered, not just for today but for decades, why the common people of the city do not pick up the courage to revolt against the incompetent civic administration! But then, one realises that the people will never do anything like that, because they are also equal partners in dirtying the river shamelessly, remorselessly. This should not go on forever.
This cannot go on forever. It is necessary for the city to take up a massive initiative to clean up the Nag River. And to be able to achieve that feat, the city requires leadership of a very high and incorruptible calibre. True, the city has had good leaders, some of them truly visionary. But unfortunately, none has given even a scant thought to the Nag River and to the project of keeping it clean. Many leaders saw visions of the city with good roads -- of cement, to say the least -- and also of great entertainment centres and great festivals etc. But none of them ever gave a serious and comprehensive thought to the ‘Clean the Nag Mission’ on the lines of ‘Clean Ganga Mission’. Let us admit that on occasions -- rare though -- they must have talked about cleansing the Nag, but such talks must have been more for cosmetic rather than for realistic reasons. They might have seen some political opportunity in indulging in worrying openly about cleansing of the Nag. So their occasional lip service, and nothing more. But then, that’s bloody sad!