Out of Rs. 20,000 crore allotted for the National Clean Ganga Mission (NCGM), only 20 percent has been utilised till March 2018. Amid all the criticism the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was facing due to their laidback approach towards Clean Ganga mission, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari promised in October 2017, that a “visible change” in the quality of Ganga water would be witnessed by 2019. But seeing the pace at which the funds are being used and the work is moving forward, the task of cleaning Ganga by 2019 seems to be an impossible one.
When the statement was made by Gadkari, at that time also, only ₹2,901 crore — or 17% of the sanctioned ₹16,000 crore — had been spent. It is roughly the same proportion of the sanctioned money utilised this year till March. As per NCGM financial account, Rs. 20,601 crore had been sanctioned for 193 projects, but only Rs. 4,254 crore had actually been spent on their implementation so far.
Out of the 65 ‘entry-level’ projects, meant for cleaning the ghats and establishing new ones and cleaning the riverfront and the river surface, only 24 have been completed.
Ganga basin spreads across 11 states, five states namely, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal are located along the river’s main stem. Much of river Ganga is loaded by waste such as chemical effluents, sewage, dead bodies and excreta from these five states. Though it accounts for about 20 percent if one looks at it volume-wise, its toxic and non-biodegradable nature is what makes it a trouble for the river as well as the environment.
It’s high time Prime Minister Modi listens to the cries of his mother and give it the respect it truly deserves. Also, for the unversed, ensuring cleanliness, purity and the uninterrupted flow of the Ganga was also on the BJP Manifesto for their 2014 campaign.