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States not cleaning Ganga, Yamuna

New Delhi: Some State governments’ non-cooperation in the Ganga and Rejuvenation Mission is not only delaying one of the flagship schemes of the NDA government but also making it a non-starter at some of the places. So much so that the Resources, Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry was unable to spend Rs 2,150 crore earmarked for this scheme for the financial year 2016-17.

Some of the states don’t even attend meetings convened by the Union ministry on the issue. The Delhi and Bihar governments were at the bottom as far as utilisation of this money was concerned.

For the financial year 2016-17, Rs 2,150 crore was sanctioned, but only Rs 741 crore was demanded by the State government; Rs 1,409 crore remained unspent. The Uttar Pradesh government spent the maximum, demanding Rs 465 crore; the West Bengal government was a distant second with Rs 68 crore; the Haryana government claimed Rs 37 crore to clean the Yamuna; the Jharkhand government demanded Rs 34 crore while the Bihar government demanded just Rs 5 crore. The Delhi government did not demand any money for cleanliness.

Officials in the Union ministry informed सिर्फ़ News that the ministry had to spend Rs 12,000 crore by 2020 on this project. Since the fund allocated for this project is non-lapsable, the money that was not spent in the last financial year is being included in this year’s outlay. So, with Rs 100 crore as increased outlay, the ministry has Rs 3,659 crore in its kitty to spend on Ganga and cleanliness this year. The ministry spent Rs 350 crore during the financial year 2015-16.

Ganga
in Delhi

Ministry officials said that State governments were supposed to prepare a project report on the Ganga and cleanliness programme and, on that basis, money was released. But some of the States through which the Ganga and Yamuna pass are not showing any interest in the project.

In Delhi, where the is in real danger, the State government is not taking any interest in the project. Same is the case with Bihar where Ganga has a long course. On the other hand, the Uttar Pradesh government has shown some interest not only in Ganga but also Yamuna, as it is working in Mathura and Vrindavan also to clean the Yamuna.

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Vinod Shukla
Senior journalist and political commentator

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Senior journalist and political commentator

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