Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, on Friday announced that the flow of raw sewage into the Ganga river will be fully halted by 2022.
Addressing a national conference, exhibition and awards ceremony called ‘Innovative Water Solutions’ here, Shekhawat said his ministry was working in “mission mode” to achieve the 2022 target. Outlining that Uttarakhand and Jharkhand had already achieved this feat, he vowed to make the whole river fit for holy rituals by December.
Shekhawat, however, said that the ministry would not be able to achieve this goal on its own. “Everybody, from the common man to corporates, have to come on board. India can’t afford the duality of scarcity of safe drinking water on the one hand, and wastage of some 25 litres of water in a shower bath on the other. I am ready to sit with corporates to chalk out a viable strategy for industrial use of water and discharge of untreated industrial waste into rivers,” Shekhawat said, adding that a “meagre three per cent” of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities were focused on water.
Speaking later at another event, Shekhawat cited a ministry report to say that the Yamuna flows for 54 kilometres through Delhi. Of this, the 22-km stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla — which is less than 2 per cent of the river’s length — accounts for about 76 per cent of the pollution levels in the river.