4 ministries to work together for cleaning up the Ganges

4 ministries to work together for cleaning up the Ganges

As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mission to clean up the Ganges, four ministries would work hand in hand to cleanse the polluted holy river and make it a hub of spiritual tourism.

Announcing this at a press conference here today after a meeting of the ministries, Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti said a meeting comprising four ministers from Surface Transport, Shipping, Tourism and Water Resources was convened today for the purpose.

"We will be incorporating ideas as and when required. Ganga is on our top priority. It is not that we are not prioritising other rivers but we will have to create a model first which can be replicated elsewhere," Bharti said.

The meeting, presided by Union Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, was attended also by ministers for Environment, she added.

Bharti said the Centre and the Prime Minister were giving tremendous importance for Ganga and other rivers as had been assured during his election campaign.

Gadkari said a committee, comprising the Secretaries of the four ministries set up for the purpose, would evaluate the entire Ganga cleaning project.

"To undertake dredging activities of up to 45 metres from Varanasi to Hoogly, the Ministry of Environment and Forest will evaluate the ecological impact of the proposal and will give us the report," he said."We have started technical evaluation of barrages that we intend to set up at a distance of every 100 km and use it for connectivity.

It will also be utilised for goods and passenger transportation," he added.

While the Ministry of Tourism will work towards promotion of the heritage site for promotion of tourism, Gadkari said the Human Resources Development Ministry will work towards setting up a research institute on the subject.

Gadkari said waste water from industries in Kanpur and Allahabad will be recycled and waste water from elsewhere will also be treated.

"The Secretary of Water Resources is heading the Group of Secretaries and a Detailed Project Report will be ready in a month and after approval from all the ministries, Water Resources will float a cabinet note on the subject," he said.

Besides, the Ministry of Tourism will also find ways to increase employment in the process (Ganga Cleaning and Promotion) Ethics, Economy and Environment site, season and rainfall-based road, shipping, water, power and agriculture, he added.

As momentum to clean the Ganga river gained momentum, a renowned Varanasi-based saint today said the river can only be cleaned through "free flow of water" and appealed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop the construction of dams and cancel all the proposed power projects on its course.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand, a disciple of Jyotish and Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, told reporters here, "Modi is doing the same thing what the previous Congress-led UPA government did. They formulated plans and allocated crores of rupees for cleaning the river, but its condition deteriorated by each passing day."

"Ganga needs water not money, so provide her as much water as possible to resolve the issue," the Swami, who is also convener of 'Ganga Seva Abhiyanam', said.

"We urge Modi to let the river water flow freely from its top without any sort of obstruction and hurdles on its path, the various problems of the river will be almost resolved," he said.

"The 'aviral' (continuous) flow of river water will clean all the dirts of the river and will free it from all sorts of  pollution, the only thing required is to stop construction of dams over the river and cancel all the proposed and ongoing series of hydro projects on the Ganga river and its tributaries," he said.

"Building more and more dams on the river is reducing the free and speedy flow of water. So there should be no dams on the Bhagirathi above Tehri," he said at Vidya Math here.

During Lok Sabha polls, the seer had protested against the use of 'Har Har Modi' slogan.

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