Ganga clean up project gets Rs2,037 crore in Union Budget1 min read . Updated: 11 Jul 2014, 12:58 AM IST
Finance minister Arun Jaitley says govt will also set up NRI fund for 'Namami Gange'
New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has allocated more than ₹ 2,000 crore to start the process of cleaning the Ganga river in the budget for the current fiscal year.
Finance minister Arun Jaitely announced an integrated Ganga conservation mission, called “Namami Gange", with an outlay of ₹ 2,037 crore for the year ending next 31 March.
Jaitley said that the mission is being launched because a substantial amount of money has been spent on cleaning and conserving the Ganga in the past, but those efforts haven’t yielded results.
He allocated ₹ 100 crore for preparation of detailed project reports on interlinking of rivers, and set aside a sum of ₹ 100 crore for the development and beautification of the ghats in Kedarnath, Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi.
Jaitley also proposed setting up a non-resident Indian (NRI) fund to finance special projects and “harness the enthusiasm of the NRI community to contribute towards the conservation of river Ganga".
“We wholeheartedly endorse the realization of past failures (in cleaning the Ganga)," said Manoj Misra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, a Delhi-based organization to revive the Yamuna river. “But hopefully the planners also understand that we cannot remain respectful to Ganga and yet disregard its integrity as an ecological system by interfering at will with it, in the name of either river-linking or building dams and barrages on it."
The government also announced a project to develop inland waterways called “Jal Marg Vikas". The first phase of the national waterways will be developed between Allahabad and Haldia. The 1,620-km project will be completed over a period of six years at a cost of ₹ 4,200 crore.