River Ganga has both religious and economic importance in India. In a move to maintain the stretches of this important river in its pristine avatar, two UK-Indian tycoons have come forward. This was informed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday when he said that Anil Agarwal of Vedanta had taken up the Patna riverfront and Ravi Mehrotra of Foresight Group had offered to look after the Kanpur section. This is part of Indian government initiative to offer UK businessmen to maintain stretches of Ganges.
Addressing to Indian Journalists’ Association in London, Gadkari said “the government was planting 10 crore trees along riverfronts. And we are planning to clean the lakes, gardening, landscaping, and things that are important from the tourism point of view. The idea was to give the responsibility of maintaining Ganga’s banks to corporates and industries — “the big people, those who are having an emotional attachment with Ganga.”
Agarwal and Mehrotra both grew up in Patna and Kanpur respectively. Speaking to NRI business leaders, Gadkari said that most Indians have their faith, respect and sentiments attached to river Ganga and their cooperation is a big part of this step.
The Union Minister also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that Indian government is very much committed to development and progress. He added that Indian ports are making profits and the government is planning to start three major projects within three months.
Gadkari also held an informal discussion with Chris Grayling MP, Minister of Transport in the UK, and an arch Brexiteer, who has regularly touted a Free Trade Deal with India as one of the main outcomes of “Brexit”
“We have been talking about the things that we can do together. The partnership that exists between our two countries is of enormous importance to us. As we go through the Brexit process, India is right at the top of the list of friends of the UK with which we wish to deepen our relationship,” Grayling said.
Gadkari, along with Indian High Commissioner to the UK Y K Sinha, also presented IJA’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Sunanda Datta-Ray, former editor of ‘The Statesman’ newspaper, for his work as the London correspondent of the Indian newspaper and also as the India correspondent of ‘The Observer’ newspaper in the UK.