“Pollution-free Ganga likely by 2020: Modi” by Kumod Verma, Times of India
Verma, K. “Pollution-free Ganga likely by 2020: Modi.” Times of India. 29 December 2010.
Pollution-free Ganga likely by 2020: Modi
By Kumod Verma
December 29, 2010
PATNA: The Bihar government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to free the Ganga from pollution. The ambitious plan is likely to be completed by 2020 with Central assistance under Ganga River Basin Authority of which Prime Minister is the chairman, said deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday.
He said that he would attend the Standing Committee meeting of the Authority on behalf of CM Nitish Kumar in New Delhi on Wednesday. Union finance minister Pranav Mukherjee will preside over the meeting. Bihar is going to raise some relevant issues at this meeting, Modi told mediapersons here.
The state government is also making an ambitious action plan estimated to cost about Rs 1,200 crore for Patna to keep it free from heaps of garbage and solid wastes. Under the Land Fill Scheme, the government has identified lands where solid waste of the city would be dumped. Efforts would also be made to ban use of polythene which has proved harmful for ecological balance, he said.
According to Modi, the Authority plan which is a Centrally-sponsored plan, aims at keeping Ganga free from pollution. “Initially, the Centre was to provide Rs 500 crore to execute the plan in the state. However, the Centre has now curtailed the budget to Rs 275 crore which is insufficient to implement the plan,” Modi said, adding the Centre and state share under the plan is now 70 and 30 per cent respectively.
The deputy CM maintained that he would put pressure on the Centre to make the share ratio 90 and 10 percent for the Centre and state respectively so that the present plan did not meet the fate of the Ganga Action Plan which miserably failed in the state, he said.
Modi said that the state has already identified 21 cities located on the bank of the Ganga. They are Patna, Danapur, Barh, Fatuha, Bakhtiarpur, Mokama, Begusarai, Barauni, Hajipur, Chhapra, Rivilganj, Ara, Buxar, Dighwara, Sonepur, Bhagalpur, Sultanganj, Naughachia, Kahalgaon, Munger and Barhaiya. The Centre has sanctioned funds for the first phase of work to be carried out at Begusarai (Rs 65.39 crore), Hajipur (Rs 113.94 crore), Munger (Rs 187.79 crore) and Buxar (Rs 74.94 crore), he said, adding tender will be floated soon in this connection.
That apart, the state government has decided to build electric crematorium at a few towns located along Ganga to check pollution in the river.
As regards the Janata Durbar, Modi said that about 300 cases were brought to the Durbar on Tuesday alone which were related to police, land disputes and other matters. These cases are being referred to the CM cell which would take appropriate action in each case, he said. Modi pointed out that a constructive mechanism has been developed now to dispose of Durbar cases on priority basis.