New Delhi, Sep 29 (UNI) Highlighting the importance of keeping River Ganga clean as it plays a significant role in sustaining the lives of about 50 per cent of the country’s population from its origin in Uttarakhand till West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday termed the Namami Gange Mission as the largest integrated river conservation mission, which not only aims at the cleanliness of River Ganga, but also focuses on comprehensive upkeep of the River.
Inaugurating six mega development projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission through video-conference, Mr Modi highlighted the importance of keeping River Ganga clean as it plays a significant role in sustaining the lives of about 50 per cent of the country’s population from its origin in Uttarakhand till West Bengal.
The PM said the new thinking and approach behind Namami Gange had made the River return back to life. ‘Had the old methods been adopted, the situation would have been equally bad today. Old methods lacked public participation and foresight,’ he added. The Prime Minister said the government moved forward with a four-pronged strategy, to achieve it’s objective.
‘First was to start laying a network of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), to prevent the waste water from flowing into the Ganges. Second was to build the STPs, keeping in mind the demands for the next 10-15 years. ‘Third was making around 100 big towns/cities and five thousand villages along the River Ganga Open Defecation Free (ODF), while the fourth is making an all-out effort to stop the pollution in the tributaries of River Ganga,’ the PM said.
Mr Modi highlighted the fact that under Namami Gange, projects worth more than Rs 30,000 Crores are either in progress or have been completed. He pointed out that due to these projects the sewage treatment capacity of Uttarakhand has increased 4 times in the last 6 years.
The Prime Minister listed the efforts taken to close more than 130 rains in Uttarakhand from flowing into the River Ganga. He referred specially to the Chandreshwar Nagar drain which turned as an eyesore to visitors and rafters at Muni Ki Reti in Rishikesh. He applauded the closing of the drain and the construction of a four storied STP at Muni Ki Reti.
The Prime Minister said that as it was experienced by the pilgrims at Prayagraj Kumbh, the visitors to Haridwar Kumbh would also experience the clean and pure status of River Ganga at Uttarakhand. Mr Modi referred to the beautification of the hundreds of ghats at Ganges and the development of a modern riverfront at Haridwar.
On the occasion, Mr Modi also inaugurated the Ganga Avalokan Museum, the first of its kind on the River Ganga at Haridwar. He released a book “Rowing Down the Ganges” and the new logo for the Jal Jeevan Mission.
The Prime Minister also unveiled the ‘Margadarshika for Gram Panchayats and Paani Samitis under Jal Jeevan Mission’ (Guidelines for the Village Panchayats and Water Committees) on the occasion.