Centre to spend more on Clean Ganga mission

Centre to spend more on Clean Ganga mission

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari with MoS Arjun Ram Meghwal at a press conference on Namami Gange programme in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo

As Lok Sabha election nears, Modi government has decided to step up expenditure on the Clean Ganga mission, a key electoral promise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also, to increase public participation in the mission Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari has written to President Ram Nath Kovind requesting him to donate one month's salary to the Clean Ganga Fund.

Gadkari also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ministers, MPs, MLAs and private citizens to donate to the Clean Ganga Fund, which has so far received a tepid response.

As many as 195 projects have been sanctioned under the National Mission for Clean Ganga that would entail an expenditure of nearly Rs 21,000 crore. The Centre has allocated Rs 20,000 crore in non-lapsable funds in May 2015.

“20% of the amount was spent till March this year, there will be a lot of expenditure...as per my assessment, we will be able to spend 60% to 70% of the (total) funds. Which means that expenditure will go up by between Rs 8000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore,” Gadkari told reporters here.

The minister said there has been a gradual drop in the industrial pollution in the river and he planned to improve the water quality by at least 70% by March 2019.

He said the Clean Ganga Fund has so far received Rs 250 crore and has urged everyone to make generous contributions to fund that would be used for cleaning river Ganga.

Gadkari said efforts will be made to clean the river in its entirety by December next year.