New Delhi: Expressing concern over the "sorry state" of river Yamuna, members in the Lok Sabha today unanimously asked the government to save the "lifeline" of people from pollution.
As members from several parties said a large number of people were protesting on the issue, Speaker Meira Kumar said a strong message should go to the people that government would take all possible steps to make the river pollution-free.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj asked the government to take immediate and long- term measures as the life and livelihood of farmers and the people were being seriously affected.
Observing that thousands of farmers led by activists and religious leaders have reached Delhi seeking a clean Yamuna river, she said in spite of thousands of crores being spent on Yamuna Action Plan, there has been no improvement at all.
"The river remains thoroughly polluted and has dried up in Mathura and Vrindavan," she said.
Taking a dig at the government, Swaraj said, "If the river had passed through Rae Bareli, these problems would have been taken care of much earlier. Soniaji (UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi) is so powerful."
Gandhi, who represents Rae Bareli and was present in the House, was seen making some remarks but could not be heard in the din.
Members from various parties, including Congress, BJP, SP, BSP and RJD, wanted a discussion and time-bound concrete action by the government, with Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan assuring them that Government would take steps to protect the river.
The Speaker said, "We should send a message to agitating people that the House unanimously echoes their sentiments. All members have associated with it. This should echo outside this House too. There should be an impact. River Yamuna should be made free from pollution. This is our resolve."