Govt to Clean Ganga by 2020

The government has said that the polluted river Ganga will be cleaned by 2020 and Rs 15,000 crore will be spent for the purpose.

“The Union Government is confident to clean the holy Ganga river by 2020 and Rs 15,000 crore will be spent for this purpose under the river development fund,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in Varanasi.

Speaking to reports on Wednesday, he said that the central government planned to conserve the river by making it ‘nirmal’ (clean) and ‘aviral’ (free flowing).

“We will not only ensure ‘aviral dhara’ (continuous flow of the river stream), as being demanded by several NGOs, but also ensure ‘nirmal dhara’ (clean and pollution free flow),” the minister said.

He informed that assistance worth at least one billion dollars has been promised by the World Bank to India for cleaning of the river in the first phase.

The clean-up involves building modern sewage treatment, revamping drains and other measures to improve the quality of the river, which has been badly polluted by industrial chemicals, farm pesticides and other sewage.

“This is a project of enormous national importance and I am pleased that the World Bank has come forward to assist us,” he said, adding the initial assistance of one billion dollars would be provided over the next four to five years.

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