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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

SC asks Centre for details on Ganga project

Fed up with the cavalier attitude of the Centre towards GAP, a Bench threatens to punish officials concerned, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2007 01:30 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to explain how it spent Rs 1000 crore on the Ganga Action Plan, an ambitious project launched during Rajiv Gandhi’s rule in 1986 to clean up the holy river.

Fed up with the cavalier attitude of the government towards GAP, a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan threatened to prosecute the officials concerned if the Central government failed to produce the Utilisation Certificate related to GAP Phase I.

The Bench was unhappy over the Government’s failure to produce Fund Utilisation Certificate despite its order dated February 20, 2007.

An amount of Rs 1000 crore was spent in the first phase and the petitioner alleged large-scale bungling in of funds. Even the Monitoring Committee, headed by Union Environment Secretary, has not been able to do much in the matter.

Giving time till May 17, the Court made it clear to the government that it will have to face serious consequences if it failed to mend its ways.

Despite spending such a huge amount the quality of water in the river has gone down over the years and the used public funds seem to have gone down the drain, it was pointed out by some of the counsel appearing in the matter.

According to the petitioner, the Ganga is more contaminated than ever before due to heavy discharge of industrial effluents, which include harmful chemicals, into the river.

First Published: Apr 25, 2007 01:23 IST