Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government will spend ₹8,000 to ₹10,000 crore this year to ensure that at least 70% of the Ganga will be clean by next May.

The government has only spent ₹4,500 crore since 2015 when the ₹20,000-crore tranche for cleaning the 2,500-km long river was operationalised.

“This year we have sent a note [to the Finance Ministry] for ₹250 crore. By next March, based on my calculation, we expect this ratio [of funds spent to funds allotted] to move to about 60% to 70%… that works to about ₹8,000 to ₹10,000 crore this year. Equipment is arriving, projects are being completed faster,” he said at a press conference to apprise on the progress made in cleaning the river. “We expect an extremely clean river by December 2019,” he said.

A total of 195 projects worth ₹20,959 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria development, river-front development and river surface cleaning.