Ganga to be free of solid and liquid waste —-Nitin Gadkari
National Mission for Clean Ganga
There will be strict laws for polluting river Ganga said Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation while speaking at an Interaction with the Captains of Indian trade and Industry on Ganga rejuvenation in Mumbai today .He outlined the implementation of the ‘Namami Gange’ programme(for rejuvenation of the river Ganga and its tributaries ) which has been divided into three levels .The short term activities for immediate visible impact include river surface cleaning and modernization of Ghats and Crematoria .The medium term activities to be implemented within five years include Municipal sewage management ,biodiversity conservation, afforestation, ganga gram ,industrial effluent management ,water quality monitoring and rural sanitation .Long term activities to be implemented within ten years include adequate flow of water, improved efficiency of surface irrigation and increased water use efficiency .
Shri Gadkari emphasised that cleaning the Ganga should become a peoples movement .He informed that a lot of private individuals from across the world have pledged support for cleaning the Ganga and have donated generously . He urged the people to make cleaning of the Ganga a mass movement .
Shri Satyapal Singh Minister of State for Ganga rejuvenation said that for Indians Ganga is not just a river it is a civilization in flow . For Indians river Ganga has always represented the most significant scared river, with many religious centres having developed on its banks. Water as one of the tatvas is symbolically associated with creation, dissolution, fertility and cleansing and is inherent in the larger Indian Cultural ethos.
Elborating on Namami Gange (integrated Ganga conservation mission )Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, Shri U.P Singh said that the vision of Ganga rejuvenation consitues restoring the wholesomeness of the river in terms of ensuring continuous flow ,unpolluted flow and geological and ecological integrity . He informed that 113 Ghats and 52 crematoria are under various stages of progress at a cost of Rs 626.57 crores. 84 Ghats in Varanasi will be cleaned up at a cost of Rs 5 crores per year .All villages near Ganga have been declared Open Defecation free .Trash skimmers have been deployed in 11 cities to collect all kinds of floating waste materials to clean the Ganga river surface .
The Government of India ( GOI), through Namami Gange Programme announced in 2014, has given a much needed thrust by allocating resources of about Rs.20,000 crores and has adopted an integrated Ganga Rejuvenation approach addressing various aspects. National Mission for Clean Ganga ( NMCG) has sanctioned projects worth about Rs.17,000 crore for Sewerage Management, Industrial Effluents Managements, Biodiversity Conservation, Solid Waste Management, Afforestation , Rural Sanitation, River Front Management, Capacity Building, Development/ Rehabilitation’ of Ghats& Crematoria etc. and above all a Communication & Public campaign to make ‘Ganga Rejuvenation’ a public movement.
However, the task of river Ganga rejuvenation, associated with 43% of the country’s population and its critical religious, spiritual, cultural and historical significance, assumes a gigantic proportion and can’t be achieved by mere governmental efforts. It requires wholehearted involvement and support from all the Indians, cutting across society, who have revered Ganga not only as unending source of nourishment, but as part and parcel of a rich and timeless culture and tradition.