Amidst neglect from the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), environmentalists are taking proactive measures to address the brutal condition of the Ram Zara stream. Concerned citizens are urged to participate in a pooja and subsequent cleaning initiative scheduled for Sunday, January 21, at Moi Phata, Dehu-Alandi Road.
The Ram Zara, once a peaceful place for spiritual comfort and a resting place for Saint Tukaram Maharaj Palki during the Wari pilgrimage, has unfortunately succumbed to environmental abuse. Uncontrolled waste disposal and construction debris have transformed this once-pure stream into a polluted watercourse. Hazardous waste, plastic, chemicals, and untreated sewage now contaminate its waters, significantly diminishing its sacred and ecological significance. In response to this environmental crisis, activists and environmentalists are mobilizing to initiate a comprehensive stream-cleaning campaign. Their objective is to restore the stream to its former glory and safeguard its cultural heritage.
Activists share a mythological belief associated with the stream’s name, connecting it to Lord Ram, who is believed to have initiated its flow by striking an arrow at its origin. This historical stream is also mentioned in an abhang written by Sant Tukaram Maharaj, who is said to have frequently consumed its water while passing by the location.
Despite numerous complaints lodged with the PCMC, the stream, known for its cultural importance and connection to the spiritual journey of Sant Tukaram Maharaj, remains neglected. This environmental degradation poses serious health risks to the residents too living nearby.
Various social organizations are joining forces in a collective effort to rejuvenate the stream. Their aims include removing debris, eliminating encroachments, and cleaning the entire stretch from the source to the Indrayani River. Activists are demanding an immediate stoppage of sewage and industrial waste discharge into the stream.
In an effort to spotlight the Ram Zhara’s status as one of Pimpri Chinchwad’s most polluted streams, environmentalists plan to conduct a pooja on January 21. The chosen date precedes the holy ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22. This initiative, coordinated by 26 social groups and NGOs, seeks to bring attention to the deteriorating condition of the stream.
The event encompasses a stream worship ceremony, installation of Shri Ram Shila, and a thorough cleaning campaign in the area.
While a senior PCMC official claims they can treat the water with a functional Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) boasting a 3 MLD capacity, environmentalists stress the urgent need for immediate and comprehensive measures. The collective effort aims not only to clean the stream but also to restore a cultural and ecological heritage threatened by neglect and pollution.