Jodhpur: The government will announce a comprehensive action plan to clean up the Ganga in the next two months, Union water resources minister Uma Bharti today said.
“This plan would be three-pronged with focus on cleaning, beautification and free flow of the Ganga and will be announced between April 30 and May 15 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” she said at a workshop here.
Refuting allegations that she was diverting the funds earmarked for the Ganga action plan towards exploration of the mythical Saraswati river, Bharti said not a single penny of the the Rs 20,000 crore budget would go waste. “The budget for the Ganga is for that purpose only and is non-lapsable, it would be spent only for the cleaning of the river. I will not proceed until there is a satisfactory fool-proof plan for the Ganga,” she said.
The Union minister said government was mulling an audit to find out the quantity of pure and contaminated water in the country. “We will ensure that pure water does not go industries, construction, farming sectors. Treated water would have to be used in these sectors and pure water would have to be saved and conserved for drinking,” she said. She also hinted at coming out with an act to ensure sewage and industrial effluents do not pollute water resources.
Referring to the Rs 6,000 crore budgetary allocation for sustainable ground water resources this year, Bharti said the amount would be spent mainly on addressing the problem of arsenic content in water and groundwater depletion in states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Telangana, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, MP, Bihar and Jharkhand.