Union minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, Uma Bharti is concerned over the slow progress of National Clean Ganga Mission (NCGM). So much so that she recently hosted dinner for MPs from five riparian states to discuss the challenges of the project. Interestingly, the letters to members of Parliament addressed them as “Ganga Kinare MPs”. The minister even addressed the MPs as “Mere Sahyogi”, reports Indian Express.
In the last two years, the mission has not progressed much, even as Rs 1,958 of allocated Rs 3,703 crore to improve condition of the river has already been met. The Union government’s much-hyped ‘Namami gange’ programme is mostly on paper. The information about the status of the project was shared by the PMO in response to an RTI application by a Lucknow-based girl. The RTI response revealed how PM Modi’s ‘Ganga Maiya ne bullaya hai’ (Mother Ganga has called me) credo, which helped him win Varanasi in the 2014 General Elections, was just another ‘jumla’.
The Modi government had promised to spend Rs 20,000 crore over five years for Ganga rejuvenation and cleaning. Will he be able to deliver on the promise is a big challenge, for now if Bharti manages to speed up the project with her dinner diplomacy will be a big achievement.