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River Ganga will be free from most of its pollution within three years: Uma Bharti


River Ganga will be free from most of its pollution within three years

        Ganga water from Gangotri to  Rishikesh

NEW DELHI, August 21, 2014: The Union water resources Uma Bharti said the river would be free from most of its pollution within three years and it would have uninterrupted flow by that time, after the Supreme Court asked the government to come up with a road map to clean the river Ganga.

She also announced that the year 2015-16 would be observed as the year of water conservation 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 people's movement.

Referring to the Ganga Rejuvenation Programme of her government, Bharti said "We will ensure that within a period of three years Ganga is free from most of its pollution and at least one stream of Ganga flows uninterrupted."  She admitted that at some places the sacred water of river Ganga is not even fit for consumption at this juncture.

Announcing the year 2015-16 as "water conservation year", she appealed to every section of the society to join this movement. "A public movement will launched throughout the country for this purpose and at least one official of the Union Water Resources Ministry will be present in every district of the country during this period", said the minister. She announced her government's plan while inaugurating an international seminar on water risk and water stewardship here on Wednesday.

She said cooperation of State governments, NGOs, civil society, youth and retired personnel will be taken in this task.  The minister said a public movement has become a necessity for conservation of water and river in the country. PTI

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SC asks Centre to give roadmap for cleaning Ganga in two weeks

NEW DELHI, August 14, 2014: Reminding the Narendra Modi government that cleaning of Ganga was on its poll manifesto, the Supreme Court today asked why urgent steps are not being taken on it and set a two-week timeline for it to come up with a road map for making the 2500 km long river pollution free.

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said the issue of cleaning Ganga is very important and it has to be put on the front burner. "Are you saving river Ganga? It was also there in your manifesto. Why don't you act on it?," the bench said, while referring to BJP's pre-poll promise to clean the river.

"Is the issue on the front burner or the back burner? These issues are very important and it has to be put on front burner," it said when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar   sought more time to respond, saying that the matter has been assigned to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation which was earlier handled by Ministry of Environment and Forest

The bench then adjorned the matter asking the Centre to file affidavit within two weeks giving details about what it proposes to do for cleaning the river. "In this matter you said there is urgency... now there is no urgency for you. You are shuttling the issue between two ministries," the bench observed.

The bench also said that cleaning project should be done in stretches as it cannot be undertaken at one go. It suggested that initially the government should focus to clean first 100 km of the river and then it should take the task of cleaning another part of the river.

On the last date of hearing on August 5, the case was adjourned as the Centre sought more time to file response. The issue of cleaning up of river Ganga has been monitored by the apex court and several applications have been filed.

The unchecked pollution of river Ganga has evoked sharp criticism by the apex court which has been hearing the case since 1985. The 2,500 km stretch of the river passes through 29 major cities, 23 small cities and 48 towns. The ambitious 'Ganga Action Plan' to clean the river was launched by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. Source: PTI


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