NEW DELHI: The Centre is set to move to the Cabinet the draft National River Ganga Bill, 2018, ahead of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in January 2019, to penalise those found polluting the river and to regulate the construction of dams on the river.
The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has finalised the draft law. The effort is to table it in the Winter Session of Parliament starting December 11. The bill calls for penalising people polluting the river, defacing ghats, indulging in commercial fishing without permission and stone quarrying among others. The offences are punishable with imprisonment up to two years or fine of up to Rs 50,000.
“We have accommodated views of all stake holders and even NGOs who sent in their representations...” said a top official. On hydropower projects, the official said the ministry’s view is to allow projects constructed more than 50 per cent while those less than 50 per cent work should not be allowed.