Updated: December 31, 2009 15:20 IST

A clean, free-flowing Ganga by 2020: Govt

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A man taking his bath in the river Ganga in Allahabad. File photo: PTI.
A man taking his bath in the river Ganga in Allahabad. File photo: PTI.

The Centre has expressed confidence that by 2020 the polluted river Ganga would be cleaned and Rs. 15,000 crores will be spent on it.

“The Union Government is confident of getting the holy Ganga river cleaned by 2020. Rs. 15,000 crores will be spent for this purpose under the river development fund,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, said here.

The Centre plans to save the river by making it ‘nirmal’ (clean) and ‘aviral’ ( free flowing), he told reporters yesterday.

“We will not only ensure ‘aviral dhara’ (continuous flow of the river stream), as being demanded by several NGOs, but also ensure ‘nirmal dhara’ (clean and pollution free flow) , the minister said.

Mr. Ramesh said the World Bank has also committed India at least one billion dollars as assistance for cleaning up the heavily polluted Ganga in the first phase.

The clean—up involves building modern sewage treatment, revamping drains and other measures to improve the quality of the river, which has been badly polluted by industrial chemicals, farm pesticides and other sewage.

“This is a project of enormous national importance and I am pleased that the World Bank has come forward to assist us,” he said, adding the initial assistance of one billion dollars would be provided over the next four to five years.

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