Millennium Post

Centre wants voluntary help from corporates to clean up Ganga

The new corpus would be set up by the government with voluntary assistance from the corporate houses of the country.

According to ministry officials, the setting up of the new fund has been mooted after the failure of the Ganga Action Plans I and II and also with little results achieved after huge spends under the NGRBA by the Centre to the basin states.

‘We would frame the modalities and prepare the framework of the body. Every time we have to borrow huge money from the World Bank and other monetary institutions and still we get little or rather very little results,’ a senior official of the ministry of environment and forests, associated with the river conservation programme, said, requesting anonymity.

‘We have spent so much on states like UP but very little has come up. There has been no improvement in the condition of the river. The condition is also bad in Uttarakhand. The corpus would help setting up of new STPs and augmenting the capacity of the existing ones,’ he said.

‘A lot of corporate houses are willing to donate substantial amounts towards the cleaning up of Ganga. They want to participate in the conservation efforts of Ganga. This would also enable greater participation of the stakeholders in the conservation chain and help in preparing a more effective Ganga conservation management programme,’ said the official, adding, ‘We expect a sizable corpus to be set up in this manner that can be used more effectively’.

The National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) officials said a proposal would be prepared soon and submitted to the cabinet for approval.

Sources in the ministry said the idea of Ganga Restoration Fund was first proposed in 2008 after revaluation of the Ganga Action Plan II revealed a worsening situation in the quality of the Ganga.

Even after the setting up of the NGRBA in 2010, the quality of Ganga water continues to deteriorate with the prime minister-headed body meeting just twice over the last three years.
The proposed Ganga Restoration Fund is also expected to conserve the precious biodiversity, including the endangered freshwater dolphins, gharials, turtles and several species of endemic fishes, officials said.
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