Namami Gange: Check out the mammoth spend

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Published: July 8, 2016 6:18:10 AM

On Thursday, the government launched 231 projects along the banks of river Ganga—spread across seven states—ranging from construction and modernisation of ghats to afforestation of river banks, under the Namami Gange programme.

On Thursday, the government launched 231 projects along the banks of river Ganga—spread across seven states—ranging from construction and modernisation of ghats to afforestation of river banks, under the Namami Gange programme.

Last year, the Cabinet approved the centrally-sponsored flagship programme, which will integrate the efforts to clean and protect the 2,500-km-long river. The programme has a budget outlay of R20,000 crore for the next five years, which is five times more than what the government had spent on cleaning the sacred river over the last three decades.

The government first launched the Ganga Action Plan I (GAP) in 1985 and GAP II in 1993. It spent R961 crore on both the schemes. In 2009, the National Ganga River Basin Authority was set up.

Until now, the Centre has spent over R1,000 crore on this project and state governments around R400 crore. Over 1,500 million litres of raw sewage and 500 million litres of industrial waste, from 700 polluting industries, and thousands of tonnes of non-biodegradable solid waste is dumped into the river every day.

To make Namami Gange work, there has to be proper coordination between the Centre, states and grassroots-level institutions such as urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions. Efforts must be made to focus on involving people living on the banks for achieving sustainable results.

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