The Uttar Pradesh Government has set a goal to keep the River Ganga or Ganges in Varanasi free from pollutants before the commencement of the 2019 Ardh Kumbh, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday. He was addressing a programme under the Swachh Bharat Mission in which public representatives of all local bodies participated. Apprising the media about his government’s resolve to keep the Ganga or Ganges clean, the Chief Minister said, “The government is making a plan to ensure that no pollutant is thrown in the Ganga before 2019 Ardh Kumbh in Varanasi.”
He said that the Ganga is the mother of everyone and everyone is responsible for keeping the river clean. He said that during British rule an effort to disturb the flow of the Ganga in Haridwar was thwarted by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and British had to sign an agreement in this regard. “Considering the shortcomings of earlier efforts to clean the Ganga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earmarked Rs 20000 crore for the Clean Ganga Project,” said Yogi.
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He assrted that the role of public representatives of Uttar Pradesh in cleaning the Ganga is very important as the river flows through the state. “If we think that keeping the Ganga clean is only the government’s duty, then we are not only deceiving ourselves, but also others,” said the chief minister. He, however, said that much has been done in the direction of cleaning the Ganga, but still the public participation is needed. “For example, around 4,43, 718 public toilets have been constructed in the 1627 villages on the banks of the Ganga but if these toilets are not used then how the Ganga would be cleaned,” questioned the UP CM.
He exhorted leaders of local bodies to create awareness about the usage of toilets. The chief minister also announced that “the government has set a goal of making 30 towns free from open defecation (ODF) by the end of this December”. He said the government had also set a goal to make all the districts of the state free from open defecation practice by October 2, 2018.