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2-min read

‘Ganga Will be 80% Clean in 3 Months, 100% by March 2020’: Nitin Gadkari’s Big Claim

The government, under previous water resources minister Uma Bharti, had set a 2018 deadline to clean the Ganga. It was pulled up by the National Green Tribunal earlier this year for doing a tardy job.

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Updated:December 28, 2018, 8:26 AM IST
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‘Ganga Will be 80% Clean in 3 Months, 100% by March 2020’: Nitin Gadkari’s Big Claim
File photo of Union minister Nitin Gadkari. (PTI)
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New Delhi: The river Ganga will be 70-80 per cent clean by March next year and 100 per cent clean by March 2020, union minister for water resources Nitin Gadkari has claimed.

Gadkari was addressing a gathering in New Delhi after he laid the foundation stone for 11 projects for Yamuna rejuvenation under the Namami Gange programme to conserve the 22-km stretch of the river in the national capital.

The government has been focusing on cleaning the Yamuna, which is Ganga’s second largest tributary and discharges filth into it for the clean-up efforts ahead of the 2019 elections.

The government, under previous water resources minister Uma Bharti, had set a 2018 deadline to clean the Ganga. It was pulled up by the National Green Tribunal earlier this year for doing a tardy job.

The green court said that the stretches between Haridwar and Unnao were “unfit for drinking and bathing” and that authorities should display “health warnings”.

But Gadkari has expressed confidence in achieving the target. Nearly Rs 26,000 crore are being spent on cleaning up the holy river that's highly polluted now.

"The mandate for cleaning the tributaries of the Ganga was taken up with the launch of Namami Gange programme. With these projects, the sewage water falling into river Yamuna will be stopped,"
he added.

Mentioning the Lakhwar multi-purpose project in the upper Yamuna basin, Gadkari said that once that project is complete, the Yamuna will flow without any interruption in Delhi. "For the same, trash skimmer is already deployed for Yamuna in Delhi for river surface cleaning," he said.

Gadkari in his speech added that apart from Delhi, interventions for Yamuna cleaning are also being made in Haryana (Panipat and Sonepat) and Uttar Pradesh (Mathura-Vrindavan). "A sewage treatment plant project of 180 million litres per day (MLD) has also been approved in Agra," he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan were also present to lay the foundation stones.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said the 1,365-km long Yamuna, covering 22 km in Delhi (from Okhla barrage to Wazirabad) is responsible for 80 per cent of the pollution in the river. He also urged that a people's movement is required to rejuvenate Ganga.

"Our ministry has collaborated with Clean Ganga Mission on issues like high-resolution survey of Ganga and real water quality monitoring to clean the river," he said.

In his speech, Kejriwal said such programmes are very important for the federal structure of the country and that all governments should be on the same page for development issues.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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