By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Agra, 25 Jun: In a world where the water crisis is increasing dramatically, cities are seeing dire shortage of clean drinking water and waste water further contaminates available fresh water sources, the inauguration of a Pi-Lo & Parmarth Smart Free RO drinking water services at the Taj Mahal’s West Gate, here, brought a light of hope and a call to action. The second and third machines were installed today at Agra Fort and District Hospital, Agra. It was also decided that four major temples of the city would also be equipped with these machines soon.
The inauguration took place first at the Taj Mahal West Gate, with the second system at Agra Fort and third at the District Hospital in the presence of Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya – a former Mayor of the city, and Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh.
Upon identifying that access to potable drinking water is still a far cry across India, Pi-Lo Shudh Pani Seva Foundation, Parmarth Niketan and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance decided to work towards eliminating its two main causes – availability and affordability of drinking water. To cater to this immediate concern of common people, the PiLo Pani Foundation has successfully installed water ATMs at various popular pilgrimage and tourist locations of India such as Humayun’s Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, Safdarjung Tomb, Qutub Minar, Parmarth Niketan, the Old Fort, amongst many others. The initiative also successfully provided plastic free clean drinking water services throughout the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela in partnership with other sponsors.
Governor Maurya stated, “I am deeply appreciative of this great initiative of Parmarth Niketan and Pi-Lo Pani Foundation. Agra will be indebted to these services. I also appeal to the people to join these efforts to conserve and protect our precious water resources. Let us be sure to plant trees during the upcoming monsoon and to protect the ones we have to green our cities and recharge the fast dwindling groundwater. We all have to be part of the solution.”
Swami Chidanand Saraswati added, “The Water Crisis is real and we are beginning to see it in Chennai and many other cities and towns of India. Without water there is no tourism, no livelihood and no life. Protecting water therefore and ensuring access to safe and affordable water is critical. These Pi-Lo and Parmarth Water Systems not only provide clean water to countless pilgrims but also ensure a plastic free and zero waste India.”
Jatin Ahlawat, Co-Founder, Pi-Lo Shudh Pani Seva Foundation said, “It was a heartening moment to see local crowd and tourists queued up at our water systems and I am glad that we are serving some of the major tourist and pilgrimage locations across India providing clean water to thousands of pilgrims every day. In the future as well, we shall continue to install more Smart Water ATM in pan India locations to ensure drinking water will no more be a far cry for the common people.”
A beautiful Yamuna Aarti also took place last evening at the Dussehra Ghat, Agra, in the presence of the Governor Maurya and Swami Chidanand. The Aarti included a mass pledge and commitment to work together to make the sacred Rivers Ganga and Yamuna and their tributaries unpolluted and free-flowing again.
The Governor recalled, “I had urged Swami Chidanand Saraswati to visit Agra to perform the divine Aarti ceremony here and to inspire us to clean and green the city. I am so glad that he has joined us today and I urge him to continue coming every 2-3 months to add momentum to this noble beginning.”
Talking about the dire situation of the River Yamuna, Swami Chidanand said that from Yamunotri to Prayagraj, Yamuna and its tributaries pass through Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. However, on its 22 km journey in Delhi it becomes the most polluted, with 18 wastewater drains, 15 drains just between the Wazirabad Dam and the Okhla Dam falling into it, bringing the ammonia content in the water to 1.12 million particles, rendering the river severely polluted. In Delhi, about 32.69 million gallons of dirty water, industrial waste, paper mill, sugar mill, sugarcane mill waste is being dumped directly into the Yamuna.
He stressed that, if the Yamuna has to be brought to life, public awareness and people’s movement is absolutely necessary.