Uma warns Ganga polluters

Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti issued a warning on Wednesday to those polluting the Ganga, and said the Union government would leave no stone unturned to clean up the river.

Speaking at a dialogue on industrial pollution in the Ganga, Ms. Bharti said that shifting from short-term measures, the focus would now be on medium- and long-term measures — it was a time for action now. Since 1975, people had been asking to be patient with Ganga clean-up, with even the Supreme Court saying it could take 200 years to achieve the target at this rate. “Now is not the time for patience, but for action,” she said.

She said a committee of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) members and a nominee would keep in touch with industries and find out how to resolve problems continually.

Referring to the Ganga as mother, she said: “If the children sucked her blood, then a decision has to be taken to revive her.” If she had to choose between saving the mother or children dependent on her, she would first opt for saving both, but in a crisis, she would choose the mother.

Later she clarified to presspersons that her statement was an indication to the industries and also all those polluting the river that offenders would not be treated lightly. The Minister, after listening to representatives of various industries, including tanneries, distilleries and paper and pulp manufacturers, said they were all ready to cooperate.

Ms. Bharti expressed her willingness to promote leather footwear from Kanpur if the tanneries there undertook clean-up measures. She was ready to model for the shoes and push for making people pay Rs. 25 more a pair if these tanneries helped save the Ganga.

Union Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar said the government had given 764 grossly polluting industries time till March to adhere to pollution control norms. He said sensors would be installed for real-time monitoring of pollution.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 10:26:39 PM |

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