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Ramayan Singh | HENB | New Delhi | Dec 24, 2017:: Union minister Uma Bharati has said people discharging toilet water and industrial waste into the Ganga and worshiping it was nothing less than “deception”. She indicated the majority Hindu people who clandestinely opt the double standard to pollute the Ganga River knowing its holiness in Hindu faith.
Launching ‘Ganga Gram’, a project for sanitation-based integrated development of all 4,470 villages along the river in five Ganga states, Bharati said like farmers have rights over land, people whose traditional occupation is centred around rivers and those living along rivers have the right over these water bodies.
The Ganga Gram Swachhta Sammelan was held yesterday at Vigyan Bhawan, attended by more than 1400 delegates including 500 village sarpanches from all five Ganga States (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal), State and District government officials, NMCG Members and Ganga Swachhta Manch volunteers.
Introducing the Ganga Gram Project, Shri Parmeswaran Iyer, Secretary MDWS underlined that Ganga Gram vision is an integrated approach for holistic development of villages situated on the banks of River Ganga with active participation of the villagers. After achieving ODF target in Ganga Villages, implementation of solid and liquid waste management and other integrated activities are remaining tasks.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River Development appealed to the village sarpanches to pledge unconditional support to making River Ganga and Ganga Grams ‘swachh’. Highlighting the various Government interventions towards making the Ganga ‘Nirmal’ Shri Gadkari, announced that funds will be generated from NRIs to support the various Ganga projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Sushri Uma Bharti, Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation advised to let development take place only if adequate care and precaution is taken in the project to protect the environment of the Ganga. Highlighting the commitment of the Government towards the Ganga, she informed that Evaluation and Monitoring Systems and Process feature prominently in all Ganga rejuvenation projects. She highlighted that the Ganga Gram project depends upon the commitment and resolve of the people living on its banks.
Bharati asked Hindu people to first clean the river and then offer the water to their ancestors and gods. She said she won’t mind if her head got chopped off for taking up the issues of Ganga and Tiranga (Tricolour).
She said Ganga was not like Thames where cleaning the river once was enough. “This government has got an opportunity to clean the sins of the past and has taken steps to clean the river,” the minister said.