Namami Gange a major failure of NDA govt, says Magsaysay awardee Rajendra Singh
The Magsaysay winner said neither the creation of a separate Ganga Rejuvenation ministry nor the allocation of Rs 20,000 crore budget for Namami Gange has contributed in purifying the ancient river by even 5 per cent.Updated: Sep 07, 2018 00:35 IST
Magsaysay awardee Rajendra Singh on Thursday dubbed the Central government’s ambitious ‘Namami Gange’ project as a “major failure” and alleged that it hasn’t helped to clean up Ganga even marginally.
Talking to HT on the sidelines of a Himalaya Day discussion forum, the Magsaysay winner said neither the creation of a separate Ganga Rejuvenation ministry nor the allocation of Rs 20,000 crore budget for Namami Gange has contributed in purifying the ancient river by even 5 per cent.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 election campaign claimed himself as the son of Ganga. We deemed it to be true, but now after four years in power, the status of Ganga’s status hasn’t changed even a bit,” said Singh adding that even the sanctity and unhindered flow of Ganga has also not been ensured. “Changing the guard from Uma Bharti to Nitin Gadkari as Ganga Rejuvenation minister itself indicates the lackluster performance of Namami Gange project” said Singh.
Singh, popularly known as the waterman of India also indicated that big hydro projects on Ganga-Yamuna and sub tributaries in Uttarakhand are also a major threat to the local ecology.
Referring to his recent visit to Dhari Devi shrine, which got severely affected due to flash flood owing to 330 Mw Alaknanda hydel project, the environmentalist who was instrumental in reviving 11 rivers, said hundreds of people were affected by the project apart causing damage to the environment in the Srinagar (Garhwal) valley.
“Just ten days prior to the Kedarnath valley flash flood of June 16, 2013, I had visited Dhari Devi and hydro project site and had warned of major devastation in case of heavy rainfall.Eventually,that came true, but now the same scenario is being repeated in more than 100 proposed hydro project sites” cautioned Singh.
Singh, later met Gyanswarup Sanand who is on the 10 th week of his fast for the prohibition of hydro electric projects and quarrying on the Ganga river bed at Matri Sadan ashram.
Naresh Bansal, general secretary of Uttarakhand BJP, said: “The central government is dedicated towards conservation of the holy river and very soon, its results will be seen.”.