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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Ganga clean-up and revival plan to be ready in next 90 days: Uma Bharti

Radhika Nagrath  Haridwar, June 09, 2014
First Published: 14:46 IST(9/6/2014) | Last Updated: 22:22 IST(22/9/2014)

Uma Bharti, the minister for water resources and river development, said on Sunday the government was seeking the advice of scientists to clean up the Ganga without stopping development projects.

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With the help of a committee of scientists, ministers, environmentalists and saints, the government will frame a working programme to clean up and revive the Ganga in 90 days, she said. Revival of other sick rivers shall also be charted out, she said. She made the announcements on Ganga Dussehra, the anniversary of the day the Ganga River is believed to have descended on earth. Addressing a press conference at Divya Prem Sewa Mission on Sunday afternoon, Bharti said, “Revival of Ganga will benefit all. We want Ganga to be pure and clean with the help of high technology. A detailed programme is underway and scientists of IIT-Roorkee and Kanpur are working on it. From Hooghly to Banaras, the Ganga will be cleaned. Ministers of four departments, environment, tourism, shipping and water resources are working together for this purpose.”

Plans are afoot for promote transport of materials through ships on the Ganga, said Bharti. When water transport starts, things will be changed and many problems will be solved. Tourism and commerce will be revived, said Bharti. The minister said ensuring the flow of the Ganga without hurdles had been her priority before she became a minister. For this reason, Narendra Modi gave this portfolio, she said.

A programme will be charted out which is development friendly and at the same time allows flow of Ganga unbridled, she said. She said that Modi was the “Bhagirathi of modern Bharat.”

Earlier, she met yoga guru Baba Ramdev at Patanjali Yogpeeth. He supported her efforts to clean-up the Ganga. He added that the exercise was as good as
worshipping the river.


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more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
 
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
 
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
 
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
 
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
 
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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