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6:04 am - Friday April 27, 2018

Inaction on Ganga

Despite many action plans to clean Ganga river due to inaction the Ganga is still a dirty river with no signs of making it clean. Initially it was Mr.Rajiv Gandhi who thought of cleaning the Ganga and launched a massive Ganga Action with adequate funds.

It was his pet project and he was personally committed to it. When after the election he declined not to form Government Mr.VP Singh became Prime Minister. He deliberately ignored and shelved the Ganga Action Plan on political considerations simply became it was known as Rajiv Gandhi’s plan.

But when Congress led UPA Government came into the power his wife revived the Ganga Action Plan. In the Lok Sabha election when Mr.Narendra Modi chose to contest from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat he made lofty promises and announcements to ensure making the Ganga clean river.

On his first visit after winning the seat and becoming Prime Minister he asserted his commitments to clean Ganga. In his Ministry he assigned the Ganga Action Plan portfolio to Uma Bharti. She tried her best but could not do much. Mr.Modi changed the assignment from Uma Bharti to another Minister Mr.Nitin Gadkari.

But unfortunately the action on Ganga Action Plan are not picking up. Once on a petition the Supreme Court asked the Central Government whether at any time the Ganga will become clean or it will remain dirty as now.

The Committee of Parliament has also reported that despite full funding the works on the schemes and projects to clean Ganga are not gaining momentum. Now the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in his report also raised many questions about the clean Ganga Project.

It pointed out in the first Central Budget of the Modi Government in July 2014 Rs.2014 crores for river cleaning and Rs.100 crores were provided for the beautification of ghats on Ganga. But in the year 2014-15 the amount could not be utilized fully and the MACG could get Rs.326 crores only.

Thereafter the Central Government allotted Rs.20,000 crores for clean Ganga Project. In the year 2015-16 Rs.3205 crores were allotted, but out of it only 603 crores were spent. In the year 2016-17 Rs.3500 crores were allotted but out of it only Rs.1063 crores were spent.

The CAG report has clearly pointed that enough fund are provided for clean Ganga schemes but works are not carried out and money lapsed. This clearly indicated that faults are at the execution level. There is not point in sanctioning crores of rupees every year regularly and at ground level there are severe and serious shortcoming in the execution of works.

The Central Government first set up enough field staff and clean cut action plan to carry out works. On the name of religion people are still throwing of flower in the river and polluting it.

Dead bodies are still thrown in the river. Instead of stopping it absurd suggestion are being made not to drop relics (bones) into it at specified point at Haridwar and Allahabad.

The Central Government has no clear cut ideas and plan as to how to carry out and implement the clean Ganga plan. It is just beating about the bushes.

Posted in: Editorial

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