The UK-based Indian-origin businessmen have committed to projects worth nearly Rs 500 crore associated with the Clean Ganga mission, union minister Nitin Gadkari has said. The Minister for Ganga, river development, water resources, highways, shipping and transport said that riverfront regeneration and development of ghats in the towns of Patna, Kanpur, Haridwar and Kolkata have been taken on by four leading industrialists from the UK. Vedanta Group chief Anil Agrawal, who is born in Patna, has pledged his support for the regeneration of the city’s riverfront; shipping magnate Ravi Mehrotra has taken on Kanpur; the Hinduja Group will develop the ghats of Haridwar, and Indorama Group chief Sri Prakash Lohia will take charge of Ganga Sagar in Kolkata.
“We have a commitment of more than Rs 500 crores with these projects and I appeal to all NRIs to participate wholeheartedly in Namami Gange,” Gadkari said at the end of his three-day UK visit yesterday. The businessmen will take on the projects as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda and work with the Indian government on finalising the plans for each of the cities. “All options are open. The government will act only as a facilitator,” the minister said, adding that the UK tour marks the launch of a series of worldwide roadshows to attract businesses to invest in the Clean Ganga mission.
Besides commitments from Indian-origin businessmen, five UK-based companies – Lyndon Water, Celtic Renewables, Mebifarm, NVH Technologies, and Arkatap – have also made a technology sharing commitment to the Clean Ganga programme. At a business gathering in London, he highlighted the availability of more than Rs 10,000 crore worth of projects for ghat, crematorium, riverfront development water bodies, parks, sanitation facilities and public amenities within the Clean Ganga programme.
He revealed that more than 119 Ghat projects have already been taken up in five states at the cost of Rs 650 crore. Following the UK, the minister has plans to hold similar roadshows in Dubai, Singapore and the US to make a pitch to the Indian diaspora to get involved in projects associated with Clean Ganga.