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No Action Plan For PM Modi’s Pet Ganga Cleaning Project, Rs 200 Crore Lie Unused: CAG Report

Of the Rs 198.48 crore sanctioned to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for three projects on monitoring and evaluation of work under the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMGC), only 7.44 per cent, or Rs 14.77 crore, was used.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:December 19, 2017, 2:35 PM IST
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No Action Plan For PM Modi’s Pet Ganga Cleaning Project, Rs 200 Crore Lie Unused: CAG Report
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
New Delhi: Close to Rs 200 crore allocated for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Namami Gange project have been lying unused in banks because no action plan has been finalised, the CAG concluded after studying the project from 2014 to March 31, 2017. A report on it was tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday.

The mission to clean the Ganga had started in 2011.

Of the Rs 198.48 crore sanctioned to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for three projects on monitoring and evaluation of work under the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMGC), only 7.44 per cent, or Rs 14.77 crore, was used.

The report highlighted delay, lapses or complete non-implementation in areas like cleaning of the river, installation of sewage treatment plants, and construction of toilets in households.

The impact of this, as per the CAG, could be felt in the pollution level of the Ganga. “Total coliform [bacteria] levels in all the cities of UP, Bihar and west Bengal was very high - ranging between 6 to 334 times higher than prescribed levels," the report said.

The presence of coliform bacteria is often used as an indicator of disease-causing pathogens.

"The National Mission for Clean Ganga could not even finalise a long term action plan even after more than 6 and half years of signing an agreement with IIT," the report said.

It also highlighted that the NMCG does not have a river basin management plan even after a lapse of over eight years of National Ganga River Basin Authority Notification.

In UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the river conservation zones were not identified in till May 2017, the report said. These states were found guilty of failing to achieve the target of 100% construction of household toilets.

The CPCB came up short in compliance verification too. Of the 5,016 checks it was supposed to conduct for 988 grossly polluting industries from 2011 to 2017, only 3,163 had been done. The CPCB could also only deploy 36 Automatic Water Quality Monitoring Systems, to continually monitor the quality of the river water, of the 113 sites along the Ganga.

The report recommended that the NMCG prepare an Annual Action Plan, align its budget estimates based on such a plan and regularly review expenditure. It asked the mission to consult with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to ensure “optimum utilisation of available funds” with state governments, and to ensure “realistic planning, data integration and strict monitoring” of targets.

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