Govt to set up Ganga rejuvenation fund

  • Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2014 22:36 IST

The Centre is likely to set up a fund that will be exclusively used for the Ganga rejuvenation programme that the Narendra Modi government has announced.

The idea behind setting up such a fund is to make the government scheme a "participatory" programme- making common citizen a stakeholder. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already called for making Ganga rejuvenation a mass movement.

"Lots of NRIs and other people have shown interest in the government's programme. We are thinking of a fund wherein common people could make donations. Money collected under this head would be exclusively used for the Namami Gange programme," a source told HT.

In his budget speech, finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced an integrated Ganga conservation mission - Namami Gange - with an outlay of Rs 2037 crore for the year ending next March 31.

"The issue of rejuvenating the river is a complex issue since it involves state governments, local urban bodies, panchayats and others. We are trying to factor in all these things and identify the firsts that we need to do. Release of human waste in the river seems to be the immediate challenge," the source said.

The government has started consultation with stakeholders and is confident about a result. More so, after concerned state governments have shown "equal concerns" in restoring the flow of the national river.

In a meeting with his ministerial colleagues, Modi had on Monday called for specific action plans to unite the strength of various sections of society dedicated to "Ganga Seva." He too identified stopping fresh generation of pollutants as the first priority.

At the meeting, Modi also suggested roping in volunteers from various parts of the country in generating public awareness and perform Ganga seva by maintaining specific stretches of the river.

The government has announced to rope in private players for solid waste and water waste management in 500 urban centre and this may start with towns on the banks of the Ganga.

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