‘Work on to make compact plan to rejuvenate Ganga, other rivers’

Keeping the poll promise to rejuvenate Ganga, Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the centre is in the process of preparing a compact plan to revive the river. The parameters of the plan will also be implemented to clean-up other rivers across the country.

Speaking about the plan, union water resources minister Uma Bharti on Wednesday said, ‘River Ganga is a leader of other rivers like Narendra Modi is the leader of the nation. We will be implementing the parameters adopted to rejuvenate Ganga for other rivers, as well. What was lacking was a compact planning, which the prime minister has said it will be done. We are in the process of preparing a compact plan. The secretaries are also working in this regard.’
The union water resources minister was speaking on the sidelines of a national conference on preserving rivers organised in the national capital on Wednesday.

Asked about her perception about the new government on the eve of completing 30 days, she said that the prime minister, his council of ministers and all ministries were working in perfect coordination. She also exude confidence that people would give an overwhelming mandate in favour of BJP in 2019 also. ‘We have got the mandate in 2014. Similarly, we will also get better mandate in 2019,’ she noted.

Earlier, addressing the gathering on the occasion, Bharti said, a meeting of technocrats, saints, environmentalists and NGOs has been called on 5 July for consultations on Ganga Rejuvenation Programme. She further said that there was no paucity of funds for Ganga Rejuvenation Programme, while adding that the private sector has also offered help in this task and collaborations from other countries will also be considered. The water resource minister also clarified that her ministry was not opposed to power projects on rivers, but at the same time it has to be ensured that main river is never dry during any point of the year.

The Ganga Action Plan — a Rs 462-crore project — has been on since 1986, but still the flow and the depth of the river has gone down drastically, leading to a bigger mess, said Sushmita Sengupta, deputy programme manager, Water Programme Unit at the Centre for Science and Environment.
The Ganga Action Plan was launched by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in Varanasi, assuring the people of a clean Ganga which stretches 2,500 km. The plan was later extended to other major rivers, including the Yamuna, under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
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