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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Varanasi | July 21, 2018:: As the report of comptroller and auditor general (CAG) has been tabled in Parliament on Friday, which reviewed five ongoing national projects and found that the physical progress of these projects are far below target. That clearly hints that only 1% of Holy Ganga so far cleaned in last 4 years under BJP led NDA Govt.
From the report it is perceived that hundreds and crores of rupees have been spent by the Modi Govt in an unscientific, clumsy and discreet manner for which Ganga remains same in the pollution tumbler and the Hindu sentiment is grossly exploited by the BJP Govt in the center very disgustingly.
The CAG report clearly mentions, “Administrative delays, poor contract management and lack of monitoring have led to cost escalation of more than Rs 49,800 crore in five national projects undertaken by the central government under river development and Ganga rejuvenation”.
Modi Govt declared an exclusive Rs 20,000 crore package for five years to Clean Ganga Project in 2014.
Earlier, the the National Green Tribunal (NGT) expressed dissatisfaction and said the situation of Clean Ganga Project was extraordinarily bad and hardly anything effective has been done to clean the river. The work done on the ground for Ganga rejuvenation was not adequate and regular monitoring was required to improve the situation.
“Hardly anything effective has been done. Have you gone and seen the area? I have gone, and there are constructions. It is a difficult situation, but I cannot accept that anything has been done. I cannot. The situation is extraordinarily bad…,” the NGT chairperson observed during a hearing on National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
The tribunal had said the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga, which still remains a “serious environmental issue”. The NGT had also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the secretary of the Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials from the Uttar Pradesh government to oversee implementation of its directions.
Over Rs 10,000 crore has been spent by the Govt for Clean Ganga (through NMCG) and its parent projects (through National Ganga River Basin Authority -NGRBA) in last four years with out any remarkable progress in Ganga health.
The official records show, since 2011, around Rs 8,454 crore has been released by the central government and Rs 4,095 crore by the NMCG to rid the river of pollutants, yielding pitiable results for “Nirmal Ganga – Abiral Ganga” (i.e. Clean Ganga – unobstructed Ganga).
“This committee shall oversee and supervise proper and effective implementation of all the projects under this judgment and will ensure providing of funds expeditiously and finally submit the implementation-cum-progress report to the tribunal every three months,” it had said. An implementation committee was also set up to provide details of the Ganga cleaning projects and the manner and methodology in which these should be implemented.
On 19th July, the green panel ordered a survey to seek views of the common people about what they feel on the ground about the pollution in the Ganga and said the feedback could be given through e-mail to authorities concerned. But, it is not known that whether the massage of the NGT will be sufficiently disseminated before the public so that the Ganga loving public can say two words for their lifeline.
“It is the most prestigious river in the country, which 100 crore people respect, but we are unable to protect it. Let us try to make the mechanism as strong and effective as possible,” the NGT bench, also comprising justices Jawad Rahim and R S Rathore, said.
The tribunal noted that nine status reports have been filed before it in the last two years, but the results were hardly visible on the ground.
“We are here for the common man. Go on the roads and see the disappointment that they have with the ground situation,” the bench observed.
It also directed the Ganga committee in each district, which is headed by the district magistrate, to furnish report to the executive committee, formed by the NGT, about the steps taken regarding implementation of directions once every fortnight.
It also ordered the executive committees to test water samples from the river every month.
During the hearing, the Uttarakhand government told the NGT that it has issued directions for banning use of plastic, sewage waste disposal, construction of public toilets, demarcation of the flood plains and prohibition on mechanised mining of the river bed.
The bench, however, said, “Though the compliance affidavit may claim that all the steps have been taken, the object of the directions in letter and spirit and effect on the ground is not adequate.”
“It is not possible to accept that the Ganges is pollution free.”, it said.
Ganga Crusader, Advocate M C Mehta, who has filed petition for cleaning of the Ganga, told the bench that the water in the river was unsafe for drinking and there was no hygiene in and around river.
But, it is difficult to know what is the reactions of Nitin Gadkari, the present Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, taking his position after the ouster of Uma Bharti, the erstwhile Ganga Rejuvenation Minister (read Ganga Ghotala Minister) now working as the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Then what’s the reality of Swachh Bharat campaign launched by Prime Minister Modi had started off on a fantastic note, with entire country backing the initiative and taking steps. But, it seems that the campaign may have overlooked one of the most important parts of India that desperately needs cleanliness – the Ganga river.
However, The CAG has blamed management failures and deficiencies in terms of non-adherence to codal provisions relating to survey and investigations behind the tardy implementation and cost escalation, the NGT has addressed the policy lapses to clean Ganga Mission. So, the present NDA Govt led by BJP can’t wash out its hands in Ganga water to put the image clean.
For the obnoxious linkages to the illegal sand and stone mafias, abattoirs, tanneries and chemical and industrial companies; the Governmental authorities always gave indulgence to the culprits to kill Ganga day by day. The aarti to Ganga by PM Modi or Uma Bharti could not provide any oxygen to Mother Ganga, who is now struggling for her life in an ICCU run by some BJP men.
Eminent Hindu interlocutor and Hindu Existence Web Editor, Upananda Brahmachari told HENB that “PM Modi & NDA Govt led by BJP completely fail to keep its promises to save Ganga and downplay the National interest & Hindu sentiments both. Govt. must probe on the misuse of Govt exchequer allotted to clean Ganga projects and to see whether those funds were stashed by some Ganga syndicates!”
__Inputs from PTI.