The Ministries of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Environment, Forests & Climate Change have decided to work together to revive the holy but polluted Ganga. This was decided in a meeting between Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti and Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar held today.
These ministries will ensure minimum e-flow of River Ganga, will check industrial pollution of the river to protect its bio-diversity and habitat including natural species in the upper reaches of the river. It was also decided that the 2 ministries will strictly follow the ban on various activities on the 130 km stretch on the river from Gomukh to Uttarkashi.
|Uma Bharti has been concerned about the state of the river for years together as an activist. She used to raise voice for restoration of the Ganga also in the years for which she was not part of the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, functionaries of the party, members of the Sangh Parivar, several environmentalists and even some parliamentarians whose respective parties are opposed to right wing politics extended support to her initiative Samagra Ganga Abhiyan.|
Meetings with representatives of various industries on the banks of river Ganga will be held to prevent the flow of industrial waste into the river. Online monitoring of treatment of industrial waste by the industry will begin in 6 months. Industry will be encouraged to re-use the treated water. Revised guidelines on sand mining will be issued to ensure scientific and sustainable sand mining. To protect bio-diversity, both the ministers were of the opinion that people displaced due to various projects of the government be involved in tree plantation drive along the river. This will give them an opportunity to earn some livelihood.
With the Narendra Modi Government according top priority to cleaning River Ganga, the Centre has set a target of 3 years to rejuvenate the polluted holy river. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said yesterday that efforts were being made to rejuvenate the river in 3 years, for which steps would be taken to address the problem of pollution from industries and sewage.
“We want to rejuvenate it in 3 years. In 3 years, we want to establish the environmental flow (e-flow). We want to resolve the issue of pollution on the banks of River Ganga and the pollution caused by industries and sewage,” Bharti, who is also holding the Ganga Rejuvenation portfolio, said.
She also announced that the year 2015-16 would be observed as “water conservation year”, which would give an impetus to her government’s commitment to not only rejuvenate the Ganga along with other rivers across the country but also “save water” by involving citizens through a public movement.
The minister, while inaugurating an international seminar on water risk and stewardship in India, said that at some places “the sacred water of the river Ganga is not even fit for consumption by animals” at present and set a target of three years to change the situation.