VARANASI: The fourth day of the ongoing Ganga cleanliness-cum-awareness fortnight-long programme organized under Namami Gange plan of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was dedicated to the boatmen on Sunday.

Centre for Environment Education (CEE), with support of Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) conducted a boat race and swimming competition in which many boatmen took part. NMCG executive director Hitesh Kumar S Makwana inaugurated the competitions.

Makwana highlighted importance of Ganga and said that it nurtures the mankind and also helps to recharge ground water, sustain biodiversity and rich culture and heritage of the country. He said that Namami Gange programme can sustain with active participation of people living in vicinity of Ganga.

NMCG adviser RN Singh and member, Central Water Commission and ex-officio additional secretary, Union ministry of water resource, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, Pradeep Kumar was also present on the occasion.

Municipal commissioner Shrihari Pratap Shahi shed light on the objectives of the programme and urged people to contribute towards keeping Ganga clean. He said that dustbins had been provided to boatmen and that they should advise visitors not toss garbage in the river.

Nukkad natak (street play) on ‘Say no to plastic and environmental pollution’ were held at Dashaswamedh and Rajendra Prasad ghats.

On Monday, an awareness rally and a human chain with a message to keep Ganga clean will be formed from Assi ghat to Dashaswamedh ghat.