New Delhi: Unhappy over the slow pace of work on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Ganga cleaning project, the government Tuesday removed IAS officer R R Mishra as Mission Director, National Mission on Clean Ganga (MNCG) and appointed TVSN Prasad to take forward the task of Ganga cleaning.
According to sources, the government was unhappy with him as nothing much has progressed in NMCG in last eight months and wanted to change the guard by bringing in Prasad, a Haryana cadre IAS officer, who was joint secretary in the water resources ministry. Mishra has been shifted as joint secretary in department of housing and poverty alleviation (HUPA).
The NDA government in 2014 launched ‘Namami Gange’ project to bring back the past glory of the river and prime minister last month had chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the progress in the project. He had emphasized upon time-bound, swift action and single-minded focus to stop pollution of the River Ganga.
The NDA has devised a three phase plan spanning for nearly 18 years at Rs 51000 crore to clean the river. The short term plan slated to take off in next six months include stopping open nallahs from falling into the river, restriction industrial and chemical discharge into the river among others.
The central government has announced Rs 2000 crore funding in the budget for ‘Namami Gange’ programme to clean the river and a separate Ganga ministry was created under water resources ministry to prioritise the river cleaning work.
Ganga cleaning programme is all set to get financial boost of Rs 20,000 crore, 10 times since 1986 in the budget. According to official figures, about Rs 2000 crores have been spent on cleaning Ganga between 1986 and 2014 by various governments.
The government has moved a proposal to consolidate Ganga funding under Water Resources Ministry and about 15 union ministries have supported the move. The money has been decided into subheads including launching a urban river development front and Ganga Task Force among others.