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PM may announce decision on Ganga MoU during IIT-K visit

india Updated: Jun 23, 2010 07:58 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to announce the decision on signing a memorandum of understanding on Ganga river basin management plan between the government and a consortium of IITs during his visit to the IIT-Kanpur on July 3.

Singh has been invited to attend as the chief guest the annual convocation of the premier institute, which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.

"Prime Minister will visit the institute on July 3. One of the major announcements on the day will be about the signing of the pact for Ganga cleaning plan between the Centre and the IIT-consortium," IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay G Dhande told PTI.

He said that the actual signing will happen a few days later in New Delhi between the Environment Ministry and the IIT-consortium which comprises the seven leading IITs--Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee, Guwahati, Delhi, Kanpur and Mumbai.

They will be pooling in their talent to prepare a Rs 18-crore comprehensive basin management plan for revival of the Ganga under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), which is headed by the Prime Minister and includes chief ministers of the states through which the river flows.

The plan, which will outline comprehensive measures for restoration of the Ganga with regard to the issue of competing water uses in the river basin, will be completed within 12-18 months.

Dhande said unlike the previous Ganga action plan which focused mainly on water, this time concentration will be on the entire basin and how to ensure quality and quantity flow in the river.

Pinning hopes on the IITs brain to revive the holy river, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had recently said, "I expect that the project will build human resources in this area in the IITs. The next generation of water resources experts should be developed through this project.

"That is why I preferred going to the IIT consortium rather than to a consulting company, which was the original plan," Ramesh said.