New Delhi: Under the government’s ‘flagship programme’ – Namami Gange, 155 projects have already been sanctioned, worth Rs 12,423.63 crore. While informing the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Water Resources, Vijay Goel, stated that out of 155, a total of 39 projects have been completed so far and the rest would get completed by 2020. The programme with a budget of Rs. 20,000 crore, is being backed by the government as a comprehensive Ganga clean-up programme which addresses the major issues facing the river today, like sewage and industrial effluent disposal, building of treatment plants and so on.
The government has spent Rs 2513.55 crore of the total amount sanctioned till now, the minister said in a written reply in the Upper House on the second day of the Monsoon session of Parliament. To another question, Mr Goel said that the National Mission for Clean Ganga remitted funds to the tune of Rs 79.14 crore (from 2015-16 to 2016-17) to five public sector undertakings (PSUs):
- Engineers’ India Limited (EIL)
- National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC)
- Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited
- National Projects Construction Corporation Limited
- Engineering Projects India Limited
The government was, however, pulled up recently by the National Green Tribunal for failing to clean Ganga which touches 118 towns and 1657 Gram Panchayats across 66 districts of 5 states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. In its landmark judgment, the NGT declared 100 metres from the edge of the river Ganga as a ‘no-development zone’. The 543-pages long judgment also prohibited disposing of waste within 500 metres of the river and imposing a hefty fine of Rs. 50,000 on anyone violating the order.
Notably, this week the Union Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation joined hands with Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to develop skilled manpower for successful completion of Namami Gange projects. The Ministries will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard, which intends to develop skilled manpower for laying sewerage pipeline, plumbing works, construction of toilets, civil masonry works, waste collection and its disposal activities.
With inputs from PTI