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Shankaracharya urges PM for Ganges clean-up

Shankaracharya has asked Manmohan Singh to get it done before the Ardh Kumbh in Allahabad next year.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 18:00 IST

The Ganges is in urgent need of a clean-up, the Shankaracharya of Puri has said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to get it done before the Ardh Kumbh in Allahabad next year.

The Hindu pontiff said referring to the mega religious gathering along the banks of the Ganges: "In 2007, the Ardh Kumbh will take place in Allahabad. Let's set that as a deadline for at least the phase-I clean-up."

His letter asserts, "The water is red in many places. Improperly treated sewage and industrial pollution is flowing into it. And the river flow is blocked at many places. I witnessed demonstrations in Allahabad. And many sadhus decided to boycott the dip."

He stated, "It was ironic that on Makar Sankranti, the local authorities had warned devotees not to drink or even take dip in the holy Ganga as the river is severely polluted."

On Tuesday, a delegation of Hindus met Uttar Pradesh Governor TV Rajeshwar and Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to complain about the grime and filth.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 18:00 IST