With the aim of cleaning and rejuvenating the Ganga river, the Centre is organising a national level meet – ‘Ganga Manthan’ on July 7 where spiritual leaders, policy makers, NGOs and environmentalists will mull over the matter.
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) programme of the Environment and Forest Ministry is organising the meet. “To resolve complex problems associated with River Ganga, effective inter-ministerial, center-state and inter-state coordination is required,” an NMCG release said.
Ahead of the first national dialogue on river Ganga, Congress leader and former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh accused the NDA government of turning the programme to clean Ganga as a “Hindutva project” by attempting to polarise politics through the initiative on the holy river. “Don’t look it as a Hindutva project. This is not a Hindutva project. This is a national project. Don’t try to polarise politics through Ganga cleaning,” Ramesh told the government
Meanwhile, Union Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti has said the River Ganga rejuvenation programme would not be successful without cleaning up of river Yamuna. The Minister said that even if the programme is called River Ganga rejuvenation project, cleaning up of river Yamuna will also be included in it. The government has plans to rejuvenate both the rivers, Bharti said, adding the country will prosper only when the two rivers are made pollution-free.
Framing policy for river restoration
Aimed at bringing all the stakeholders on a single platform, the one-day meet, named ‘Ganga Manthan’, will gather people from various walks of life and draw ideas that will give a better insight for framing a strategic long term policy for restoration of the Ganges.
Representatives of various ministries including those from Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping and Tourism, and other stakeholders would participate in the meet.
The meet would begin with a session where all stakeholders will gather together, followed by four separate parallel sessions for saints and spiritual leaders, NGOs and environmentalists, academicians and technocrats, and public representatives and administrators.
Deliberations will take place on themes such as Ganga and ‘Sanskriti’ (culture), ‘Nirmal and Aviral’ (pure and continuous) Ganga, Comprehensive & Sustainable Solutions and ‘Jan Sehbhagita’ (public participation).
A combined session, where views and ideas discussed in the parallel sessions would be shared to facilitate formulation of a long-term strategy, will conclude the meet.
NMCG is presently implementing various pollution abatement, aquatic resource conservation and institutional development projects under NGRBA in the five basin states on the main stem of the Ganges adopting basin-based holistic approach.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.