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‘Ganga more polluted now than in May 2014’

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Abhishek Manu Singhvi   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his promise to clean up the Ganga, the Congress on Friday said an RTI query had revealed that the river was more polluted now than it was in May 2014, when the Modi government took charge.

At a press conference, senior Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “While filing his nomination, Shri Narendra Modi said ‘First I thought the BJP sent me here, then I thought I am going to Kashi, but after I came here, I feel Maa Ganga has called me.’ Facts cut through the fog and the sheer betrayal of Mr. Modi’s promises has been exposed as the ‘Namami Gange’ project miserably falters.”

Projects not completed

The Congress leader said that under the Namami Gange programme, a total of 221 projects have been sanctioned for activities such as the treatment of municipal sewage at a total cost of ₹22,238.73 crore but only 58 projects have been completed.

Mr. Singhvi said the programme aimed at treating 2,278 million litres a day of sewage through sewage treatment plants (STPs) but till date only 329.3 million litres a day got treated.

“In May 2018, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had set March 2019 as the new deadline to clean river Ganga and ensure a ‘70 to 80%’ improvement in its water quality. With only one-fourth of sanctioned projects being completed till August 2018, how can the government achieve this miracle in the next 6-7 months,” he asked.

“Earlier, a CAG report has revealed that during 2016-17, the level of pollutants in the river across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal was six to 334 times higher than the prescribed levels,” he added.

The Congress leader also asked the government how it would manage the Kumbh Mela when the quality of the river shows such high level of pollution.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 2:45:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ganga-more-polluted-now-than-in-may-2014/article24774228.ece

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