Maharashtra: Water expert Madhav Chitale wants to join clean river mission

Mumbai: Winner of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize and water-expert Dr Madhav Chitale who recently quit from Namami Gange Mission has expressed his desire to work with Maharashtra state in Namami Chandrabhaga Mission.

Chitale said that cleaning of rivers is a social and technical issue and need lot of practical work to be done. Sudhir Mungantiwar, minister for finance and planning welcomed his decision and stated that the mission need support of such experts. Dr Chitale, former chairman of Central Water Commission, has played a major role in getting India’s decision makers and strategic planners to think of water as a resource whose quality and availability need to be safeguarded.

Blaming Indian psyche for pollution of River Ganga and inadequate and superficial efforts to clean the river, Dr Chitale resigned from the post of member of National Commission for Ganga rejuvenation last week. Dr Chitale, who is not associated with Namami Chandrabhaga Mission, Mungantiwar’s ambitious project, said that he would like to work with the project as it is for his home state. “Cleaning of river is a major task and it depends upon response from the municipal councils (MCs), municipal corporations and villages along which the river crosses,” said Chitale.

He further said, “Our local bodies (MCs) are financially weak. They do not have adequate mechanism to segregate garbage, most of the municipal councils do not have solid waste management mechanism and hence all the sewage flows through river and make it polluted.”

Minister Mungantiwar said, “Waterman Dr Rajendra Singh is behind Namami Chandrabhaga Mission. It is a mission and hence, if Dr Chitale would join us, it will honour for the state government.” He further said, “Chandrabhaga is not a single river, but there are 14 rivers which are included in the mission. It also includes Mula and Mutha rivers which flows through Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad city, the industrial twins which plays its role to pollute the rivers.”

“My mission is pilgrims who comes to Pandharpur to pray for god Vitthal, must get clean and pollution-free water. As well as the people who lives across these 14 rivers within Chandrabhaga mission must get clean water,” said Mungantiwar. He added that Namami mission is the integration of various schemes related to departments such as urban development, rural development, forest and other concern departments which has to play their role in cleaning of rivers.

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