Prime minister Narendra Modi is set to take stock of his government’s ambitious river Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation project that has been riddled with problems of tardy progress on ground, lack of centre-state co-ordination and delay in upgrading the sewage and effluent treatment plants. The PM will review the slew of measures announced to restore the polluted holy river during the National Ganga River Basin Authority meeting on Thursday. The meeting will also be attended by top ministers and Ganga-basin chief ministers. It will be the first occasion when the PM will be meeting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar following Jitan Manjhi’s rebellion in February. Kumar is also reportedly planning to seek a separate meeting with the PM to discuss Bihar’s financial issues.

Prime minister Narendra Modi is set to take stock of his government’s ambitious river Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation project that has been riddled with problems of tardy progress on ground, lack of centre-state co-ordination and delay in upgrading the sewage and effluent treatment plants. The PM will review the slew of measures announced to restore the polluted holy river during the National Ganga River Basin Authority meeting on Thursday. The meeting will also be attended by top ministers and Ganga-basin chief ministers. It will be the first occasion when the PM will be meeting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar following Jitan Manjhi’s rebellion in February. Kumar is also reportedly planning to seek a separate meeting with the PM to discuss Bihar’s financial issues.Soon after winning the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat and assuming power, PM Modi had vowed to clean River Ganga and with much fanfare, his government had launched the Namami Gange project. But the lack of progress is evident as pollution control measures such as sewage treatment plants and effluent treatment plants are still unequipped to handle the burden of pollutants that is released into Ganga, especially across Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, where the highest number of errant industries are located. The project also faced hiccups last year, as National Mission for Clean Ganga, an executive body of NGRBA faced a staff crunch.During Thursday’s meeting, these issues would be high on the agenda. “Prioritization of fund disbursal and smoothening the flow of funds to states will be a key issue in the meeting. The state pollution control bodies have certain limitations in the present day regulatory framework. To change that, stricter ways to monitor pollution would be deliberated in the meeting,” said an official from the water resources ministry, requesting anonymity.As the ministry of water resources recently submitted the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) consortium report on Ganga River Basin Management Plant in Supreme Court, that too will be on the agenda. “The IIT report and the ministry’s reports that have identified sources of pollution and the lacunae will be crucial points of discussion. The IIT report has laid down a comprehensive action plan and cleaning of the river will hinge on it,” the official added. Ministry sources also informed that the Clean Ganga Fund, established for rejuvenation activities such as setting up waste treatment facilities, cleaning of pollution from agricultural run-off, has collected Rs18 crores by way of donations from citizens, public-sector units and through corporate social responsibility contributions.

View the original here:  

Pollution control and IIT report focal issues for Ganga meet