New Delhi: Gearing up to cleanse river Ganga, the government today decided to initiate a slew of measures, including focusing on polluting drainage systems and to establish Ganga Vahini for spreading message of its rejuvenation.
While the Centre is mulling to take a leaf out of the Sabarmati river front project in Gujarat to develop the river fronts of several urban localities situated on the banks of Ganga, it plans kick starting short-term clean up measures within 45 days.
“Initially, we are focusing on drainages. There are about 140 drains between Gangotri and Ganga Sagar, which are polluting the river. There are also certain adjoining rivers that have become like drains. We will first take this up,” Union Water Resource Minister Uma Bharati told reporters after the first meeting of the reconstituted National Ganga River Basin Authority here.
Stressing that the government will also be focusing on greenery from Gomuk to Ganga Sagar, she said that measures to tackle the chemical and industrial pollutants discharged into drains would also be taken.
“This was one meeting that I was eagerly waiting far... Till now we were deciding on the policies. Now the implementation part will start,” Bharati, who carried out several campaigns for cleaning up the river in the past, said.
On developing river fronts, Bharati cited the example of Sabarmati river project, saying it had solutions for several challenges.
“As far as river front is concerned, we are looking at Sabarmathi river front, which is the best river front in the country. It has solutions for sewer problems, chemical discharge, industrial pollution, beautification, besides providing work for people.
Simultaneously, relentless flow was also ensured,” she stated. She said a national volunteer force called Ganga Vahini will be set up on the pattern of the Red Cross. This force will comprise youth, students, ex-servicemen and others and will spread the message of Ganga rejuvenation all over the country, she added.