rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » SHOCKING PHOTOS: The FILTHY Maha Kumbh 'after party'

SHOCKING PHOTOS: The FILTHY Maha Kumbh 'after party'

Last updated on: April 26, 2013 19:07 IST

SHOCKING PHOTOS: The FILTHY Maha Kumbh 'after party'

     Next

Next
Avikal Somvanshi in Allahabad

On the eve of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's lecture on the so-called success of the Maha Kumbh Mela to a gathering at Harvard, Avikal Somvanshi visits the Sangam at Allahabad to photograph the disturbing aftermath of the mela. Along with Bharat Lal Seth, he suggests a presentation for the CM.

Please click NEXT to see more...



Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth

     Next

Har har Gange!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ladies and gentlemen, earlier this year Harvard sent a team of over 50 people to see how a 'pop-up mega-city', visited by more than 120 million over 55 days, is laid out on a grid, and then deconstructed within a matter of weeks.

You were amazed by the alacrity with which my administration created a public space with a power grid, piped water network, sanitation and medical facilities and infrastructure for social events. I am here to tell you that while all of you enjoyed the success of the largest gathering on earth, allow me to share the ground reality and the current challenges we face.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags: Harvard , Gange

Prev     Next

Clean up myopia

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

More than Rs 1,400 crore were spent on the successful organisation of and infrastructure for the mega event. Roads, ghats, toilets, hospitals and everything else required to run a mega event were made available.

Unfortunately, we forgot to allot any funds for cleaning up the mela ground after the festivity wrapped up on March 12 with Mahashivratri.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth

Prev     Next

Not so holy now

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Lined with sparkling white sand bags topped with cozy hay stacks the ghats looked picture perfect during the Kumbh.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Not so holy now

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

A little more than a month down the line all sand bags have given way to heaps of polythene bags and the hay has been put on fire.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Not so holy now

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Gold rush

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

120 million took bath in the river, but sadly today there is no one to clean up the holy Sangam. Only a handful of scavengers digging for valuables and coins throng the ghats.

Nowhere in sight is the army of 10,000 sanitation workers, and this is something we should have planned for .

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags: Sangam

Prev     Next

Too shallow

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

We ensured that there was adequate depth -- 3 to 4 feet -- for bathing. I must admit that this was made possible by releasing 2,500 cusecs from upstream reservoirs during the entire mela period.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Too shallow

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

More was released during the six important bathing days. The flow has now reduced when we stopped this release and islands have been formed within the watercourse. The Ganga no longer flows, as you were made to see during your stay.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Solid waste offerings

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Each person visiting the mela generated solid waste of approximately 100 gm every day, be it plastics, bottles or flowers. If you visit the mela grounds today, you will see solid waste strewn all over the place

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Solid waste offerings

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

More than 40,000 toilets which received all the excreta of the pilgrims were simply covered with more earth, allowing it to leach into the ground and pollute the groundwater.

Garbage that piled up during kumbh is still waiting to be cleared up.

 Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Excreta matters

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

We set up more than 40,000 toilets and sanitation complexes to deal with the excrement of more than 100 million people. But truth is that the entire infrastructure was not installed in time, much of it lying around unused.

The reality is that toilets were overflowing; there was open defecation and holes filled up with urine and excreta which is an unsanitary headache, something we have not been unable to deal with to this day.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Water non-supply

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

We laid out 570 km pipelines and supplied 80 million litres of water each day. But I must admit that thousands were not connected to the piped network and had to fetch water from distances, many at times consuming unfiltered water.

It is a fact that the doctors at the central hospital received a large number of patients with stomach ailments.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Afterlife returns

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Boats were stationed upstream to ensure there were no animal carcasses or human bodies floating in the river at the bathing ghats.

Cremations were also stopped at Sangam to avoid unsightly scenes during the Kumbh mela. Life is back to normal now.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags: Sangam

Prev     Next

Melon times

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Cucumber and water melon farmers have started reclaiming river bed for their farming activities. Only a small chunk of the massive river bed is fit for farming as most of it is still laden with debris. It is a bit late into summer to start with the cucumber and water melon plantation but our farmers are taking the risk.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Kumbh magic demystified

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Many of you were drawn to this pop-up mega city, built on the floodplains in the matter of a few months. But as you have seen, there is more to it than meets the eye.

There is a need to ensure that more people and not just VIPs have access to essential services and infrastructure. We need to re-engineer our solutions so that the waste water from towns and industries is better dealt with, and that all the filth is better managed before we claim to have expertise on this form of so-called flexible urbanism.

I am an environmental engineer by training, and hold myself to higher standards.

Please click NEXT to see more...


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags:

Prev     Next

Thank you

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Let's pray for the Ganga.


Photographs: Avikal Somvanshi/Down to Earth
Tags: Ganga

Prev     Next

TOP photo features of the week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another set of PHOTO features...



Tags:

Prev     More