NEW DELHI: BJP’s victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand comes as a boost for the Ganga cleaning mission. It will give the Centre a firm grip on implementation of ongoing projects as three of the five states on the main stem of the river are now under BJP rule.
It is expected to expedite various projects under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Namami Gange’ programme through better coordination and monitoring while leaving no excuse for inaction on the ground.
Though the programme is devised in such a way that the states would not have to directly implement and operate the projects, there are many issues for which the local administration has to act to make the mission a success in a time-bound manner.
The Centre had in May 2015 approved the flagship “Namami Gange” programme which integrates the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga in a comprehensive manner. It has a budget outlay of Rs 20,000 crore for five years (2015-20).
“Since Uttarakhand (from where the Ganga originates) will now be ruled by the same party in the state and at the Centre, it would hopefully be easier to bring all stakeholders on the same page,” said an official.
He said maintaining uninterrupted flow of the river is a prerequisite for naturally cleaning the river, but the issue had failed to convince Uttarakhand which had been pushing for new dams on the Ganga — an obstacle to the flow.
Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, has to act against polluting industries and handle sewage at multiple levels before it is discharged into the river along its 1,000 km stretch. More than half of the river stretch passes through Uttarakhand and UP together.
Jharkhand is the third BJP-ruled state where the ongoing Ganga cleaning mission is at different stages of implementation. The other two states on the main stem of the river are Bihar (ruled by JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance) and West Bengal (ruled by Trinamool Congress).