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Ganga yatra gets going from Bijnor, Ballia

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2020 08:42 PM IST

Governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday launched the Ganga yatra from Ballia and Bijnor respectively.

After performing Ganga pujan at Bijnor barrage, Yogi flagged off the yatra there. Speaking at the programme, he said, “The Ganga has been associated with our faith and economy. We have to keep the Ganga clean and ever-flowing. If the people consider Ganga their mother, then it’s their duty to keep the river clean.”

The five-day long yatra will cover 1358 kilometres and conclude in Kanpur on January 31 after traversing through 27 districts. “Kanpur was the most sensitive point for the Ganga as, after crossing the city, the river virtually turned into a drain. The filth in the river hurt our faith as well as the economy. The BJP government took a pledge to make the Ganga ever-flowing and clean even in Kanpur,” he said.

Yogi said if the Ganga could be made clean in Kanpur, then all other rivers of the country could also become clean and perennial.

“If the Delhi government takes a resolve, then the Yamuna can also become ever-flowing and clean. The Gangetic plains are among the most fertile in the world. The farmers here are hardworking and produce various crops round the year that sustains the rural economy,” he said.

“The state government is committed to making the Ganga free of pollution. The task can only be achieved by associating the people with the clean Ganga programme. To ensure the participation of the people and make them aware of the Namami Gange programme, the state government has launched the Ganga yatra. The state government is taking every possible step to make the programme successful. Measures are being taken to check the discharge of sewage and garbage into the Ganga in cities and villages on the riverbank. Uttar Pradesh will set an example for the country and the world,” he said.

The chief minister also flagged off a rath from Bijnor to Ramraj in Muzaffarnagar to create awareness among the prime minister.

Launching the yatra in Ballia, governor Anandiben Patel said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the new ‘Bhagirath’ of humanity.

“Prime Minister Modi has taken up the task of cleaning the rivers. We have also been successful to a great extent in cleaning the country’s rivers.”

“Prime Minister Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath have taken a new initiative to launch organic farming along the rivers. This will boost our economy as well,” she said.

Recalling Ballia’s contribution to the freedom movement, the governor said, “I salute the land of valiant people. The people here are fortunate that they reside on the Ganga bank. The rivers that are a symbol of civilization and culture have to be saved. Rivers are getting polluted. The people are drawing water from the rivers for domestic and commercial use but are releasing filth. We are drinking polluted water and falling ill,” she said.

Calling upon the people to join the movement to make the Ganga clean, she said the chief minister had assured the people that there will be playgrounds, ponds and nurseries in all the villages located near Ganga.

“If everyone joins hands, the fortunes of 1038 villages along the Ganga will change,” she said.

Speaking at the Ballia function, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the Ganga connected Bihar with Uttar Pradesh.

“India is the only country in the world where rivers are worshipped. The Ganga is the mother of not only Hindus, but all the people residing in the country,” he said.

The Bihar government had decided that the Ganga water will be used for domestic purposes, he said, adding the state government will launch a piped drinking water scheme from Patna to Bodh Gaya.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was working to restore the old cultural identity of Varanasi, he said.

Union minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said the PM had taken a new initiative to connect Ganga with the economy.

“Those who are commenting can never understand the Ganga,” he said.

“PM Modi has fulfilled the slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas,” he added.

The chief minister’s consistent initiative to clean the Ganga was commendable, he said.

‘Villages along riverbank will be developed’

Describing the Ganga as the symbol of our faith, he Jal shakti minister Mahendra Singh said the villages along its banks will be developed by connecting Ganga to the economy.

The state government was committed to making the Ganga ever-flowing and clean, he said.

Union ministers Sanjeev Balyan and VK Singh, state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh, state cabinet Ministers Suresh Rana, Kapil Dev Aggarwal and Baldev Singh Aulakh were present during the inauguration of the programme with the chief minister in Bijnor.

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