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Issue 23
March , 2010
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Thames clean-up

Source: Indian Express, New Delhi, Date: February , 2010

In the 1850s, the Thames in London was so polluted and stinking that the Parliament had to be shifted away from the river, says Robert Oates, director of the Thames River Restoration Trust. A century and half on, the river is much cleaner and Britain, he says, is now investing in cleaning a tributary of the Thames, the Lee, ahead of the London Olympics in 2012. While the Delhi government has said it cannot clean the Yamuna ahead of the Commonwealth Games this October, those linked to the Thames river cleaning and restoration project say the problem of pollution here is much larger, and thus the solutions also need to come faster. Oates, whose Trust works with the British government and the Environment Agency of England and Wales to clean the Thames, says: “One of the things we have done is create tourism and sports opportunities along the Thames. People have to feel for the river and want to make it part of their lives. The Environment Agency, for example, collects fee for an yearly licence for angling. ‘Delhi, yamuna’s problems bigger’ Around 150 years ago, “human activities” led to Thames being declared the first biologically dead river, Oates says, “But we have managed to revive the river since then. The problems in Yamuna are much larger — the Thames is only about a quarter of its length. “The Industrial Revolution in England got over 150 years ago. India, on the other hand, is growing and probably experiencing an Industrial Revolution ten times (larger).

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