Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on Monday said a law to protect Ganga river will be brought in only after thorough consideration and refused to comment on the penal provisions in the draft statute. “We are minutely studying the draft law. It is a wonderful legislation drafted by Justice (Girdhar) Malviya. But it will be brought in the public domain only after thorough examination of all its aspects,” Bharti told reporters here. “It will be premature to comment on the provisions of the proposed law,” she said. The government had formed a committee led by Justice Girdhar Malviya (retd) in July last year to prepare the draft Ganga Act. The committee submitted its report to the Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on April 12.
Bharti said the law was necessary to protect the holy Ganga. “The Ganga is among the 10 most polluted rivers in the world. A law is needed to preserve it and ensure its uninterrupted flow,” she said. She said the river’s most polluted stretch was in Kanpur, and her Ministry had been discussing with the Uttar Pradesh government to shift Kanpur’s industry — majorly tannery — out of the city. “There is a meeting (scheduled) in this connection with Uttar Pradesh officials. Industry and livelihoods associated with it are important, but the river cannot be allowed to die like this (due to effluents),” the Minister said.
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She said it will take at least 10 years for the Ganga to regain its old glory. On the Yamuna’s revival in Delhi, Bharti said at present “not a drop” from Haryana’s share of water can be taken away to release into the Yamuna, but her Ministry has given Delhi Jal Board around Rs 1,500 crore for various sewage treatment projects.