An idea to make Ganga Yatra ‘fruitful’ and how
THE PLAN Horticulture department to promote cultivation of fruits along the river in 26 districts
Playing its part for the long-term success of the forthcoming Ganga Yatra, UP’s horticulture department would promote the cultivation of fruits along the river in 26 districts.
The five-day yatra will begin from Bijnor and Ballia on January 27 and culminate at Kanpur on January 31. The aim of the yatra is conservation and cleanliness of the river as well as promoting river-related economic activities.
The 1,025-km yatra will pass through 26 districts and 1,026 villages.
The department has drawn up a detailed plan and submitted it to the finance department for approval. “The project with a time frame of three years envisages new orchards on 12,000 hectares of land in the 26 districts in three years from the date of launch,” said a senior officer in the department.
“We will also establish 78 ‘Ganga nurseries’ to feed the new orchards with desired saplings of fruit trees – such as guava, mango, aonla (India gooseberry) etc,” he said.
To make plantation of fruit trees viable for farmers/villagers, the department has planned Rs 3,000 per month per hectare grant for 36 months for building and maintenance of these new orchards.
“To roll out the ambitious horticulture promotion in Ganga regions of the state, we have sought Rs 144.30 crore from the government from 2020-21 to 2025-26,” said the officer.
He added: “The project, once executed, will not only be a livelihood and income boost, but also a big push towards agro-forestry and environment betterment along the river.”
The department has planned the project under the ‘Namami Gange: Industrial Development Scheme’ and would also give 50% grant (Rs 7.5 lakh) for one hectare ‘Ganga nursery’ to farmers/villagers.
The department assessed that one hectare nursery would cost Rs 15 lakh. The department will engage in horticulture promotion and awareness campaigns along the way in the five-day yatra, which UP governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath will flag off.
“The yatra aims to promote continuous flow of river, purity, cleanliness and boost economic activities by connecting with ‘Arth-Ganga’ campaign. Ganga is not only a symbol of faith, but also aids the country’s development and prosperity,” the chief minister had said at a meeting for the Ganga Yatra last week.
The departments that have a prominent role in the campaign are urban development, rural development, panchayati raj, home, transport, horticulture, agriculture, forest and environment, information, tourism, culture, education, and health. Several central, state ministers and legislators (MPs, MLAs, MLCs) will participate in the campaign. The yatra will use both road and waterways. The Jal Shakti department is the nodal department for the yatra.
During the yatra, various departments will sensitise people living on the riverbank on how to keep the Ganga clean, pollution free and polythene free.