The Yamuna – uncertain river
The Yamuna river, has become a part of the new imaginary of the city of Delhi, capital of a newly globalizing nation state. Till even a few years ago the riverbank in the city was the resting place for its detritus. Waste, junk, waste-pickers, slum dwellers, all the outcasts of the city could be found here, along with sand dredgers and vegetable farmers. Most other citizens had not even seen the river, let alone touch it. The city planners, eager as always to appropriate more land, reluctantly had to leave the flat wide riverbed alone, since it flooded at least once every year, during the monsoons. The river overflowed onto its flood plain and was prevented from entering the city only owing to the high embankments constructed on both sides. For most of the other part of the year it remains a sewage canal.