In a development that must be seen as a corroboration of Modi government’s ambitious plan to clean the lifeline of India, river Ganga, Union Minister for water resources, Nitin Gadkari has said that 70 to 80 per cent of the Ganga will be cleaned by the month of March next year. Gadkari was speaking at a book launch on December 6 where he said, “By the end of March, 70-80 per cent of the Ganga will be cleaned, and my feeling is that by March 2020, the river will be 100 per cent clean.” He further said that Rs. 26,000 crore is going to be spent for cleaning the river under the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
Gadkari’s statement and assurance go on to show the Modi government has worked towards this major promise in a serious manner and if the government is able to achieve what he said, it would be a phenomenal achievement for the present government. This is not for first time that union minister Nitin Gadkari has claimed that such a substantial portion of the river Ganga will be cleaned by March 2019. Earlier this year, Gadkari had assured that by March 2019, more than 80-90 percent of river Ganga will be cleaned. In fact, immediately after assuming office, Gadkari had taken several crucial steps in order to fast track the mission and to achieve the desired outcome of cleaning Ganga in a quick and efficacious manner. He had immediately constituted a special task force comprising of personnel from overlapping ministries such as water resources, urban development, and drinking water and sanitation. This provided the necessary foundation, cleared roadblocks and interlinked various divisions of the project. Now, it seems that his strenuous efforts are paying off.
During the book launch, Gadkari was also questioned about the fall in GDP growth to 7.1 per cent as compared to 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year. The Union Minister, however, made it clear that as far as economic growth is concerned, India remains the fastest growing economy in the world. He also spoke about the road sector, which happens to be one of the focus areas for the Modi government. Gadkari, who also holds the portfolios of roads & highways and ports & shipping, said that a lot more work needs to be done in this sector. Speaking about the pace of work in this sector, Gadkari said, “When I became the minister, road construction was at 2 km a day, but now it is 28 km a day. By next March we will be constructing 40 km per day of roads.” This goes on to show why Gadkari is seen as one of the top performers in the present government. As far as the road sector is concerned, there has been an amazing turnaround under Gadkari’s leadership. Gadkari also revealed that 12 new expressways are presently under construction.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga seems to be on track and set to achieve its goal in a time-bound manner. This is going to be one of the major achievements for the Modi government as river Ganga not only happens to be the lifeline for crores of people dependent on it but also it’s a centre of great spiritual and religious significance. It seems that finally, the dream of cleaning river Ganga is going to be realized.