This year a Clean Ganga Mission was high on the BJP’s election agenda. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Lok sabha member from Varanasi, based on the banks of the river, has pledged to clean the river and also set up a separate ministry headed by Uma Bharati. On a trip to the US earlier this month, he sought the help of NRIs in doing this.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will monitor the implementation of Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission (Namami Ganga), the dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A decision in this regard was taken during the meeting of senior RSS office-bearers of the five regions (in the state) that fall under the river’s course between Gangotri in Uttarakhand to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal.
RSS Sahsarkaryawah Krishna Gopal presided over the closed-door meeting on Sunday. According to sources, Gopal has asked RSS office-bearers to form teams of volunteers to supervise the project work that will start soon. These volunteers will regularly visit the project sites and submit reports to senior office-bearers who will communicate to the Centre if any laxity or irregularity in implementation of the project is found. These office-bearers will also interact with the government officials associated with the project and give them regular suggestions to improve the quality of work.
Modi government has made budgetary allocation of Rs 2,037 crore towards the Namami Gange project. This amount is to be used up by the end of this year with work on the project likely to begin in October.
Ghat development and beautification of river front at several places such as Kedarnath, Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad and Patna among others are reportedly as part of the project.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Clean Ganga’ project received a shot-in-the-arm with the South Australia government showing its interest in cleaning up the river, which is considered sacred by many Indians.
The government approved setting up “Clean Ganga Fund” (CGF), which will accept voluntary contributions from residents, non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) towards cleaning of the river Ganga.