Union minister Nitin Gadkari today said the Centre has garnered commitments worth Rs 1,500 crore from international and domestic corporates, and industrialists for cleaning of river Ganga. Gadkari, who was in the city to promote the cause of Ganga rejuvenation, had invited over 150 industrialists, chief executive officers and managing directors to discuss the issue. “I was in London last week to kick off a roadshow to promote the (Ganga rejuvenation) project. We have got commitments worth Rs 1,000 crore from various institutions and the UK-based business community,” the minister for river development and Ganga rejuvenation told reporters here.
“In addition, we have commitments worth Rs 500 crore from the domestic industry, as well,” he said. The minister said that the riverfront regeneration and development of ghats in Patna, Kanpur, Haridwar and Kolkata have been taken up by leading industrialists from the UK. He said he also planned to visit major cities, including Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, subsequently, he said. The Centre estimates the cost of the entire project to run up to Rs 20,000 crore, he said.
So far, around 97 projects have been announced of which about 55 have been initiated, Gadkari said. About 15 of these are under the public-private partnership model under which operations will be maintained by the private sector, he said. “We will float tenders for the remaining projects, and plan to get them all underway by March 2018,” he said. On the development of over 4,500 villages and towns along the Ganga, Gadkari said the government is working on an integrated development project of these villages.