NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting on the ‘Namaami Gange’ project and called for taking legal action against industrial units polluting the river. The PM also emphasised upon time-bound, swift action and single-minded focus to stop pollution of the Ganga.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the ‘Namaami Gange’ vision should focus primarily on two main areas -- urban sewage and industrial effluents -- to check pollution at the source.
The meeting was attended by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar and top Government officials.
Emphasising the need to promote recycling of industrial waste water, the Prime Minister said that industrial units should be motivated suitably to stop pollution, failing which action should be initiated within the framework of existing laws.
He also called for exploring the possibility of setting up modern, environment-friendly crematoria along the Ganga, through private initiative and enterprise.
The concept of a network of volunteers to help end pollution of the river - ‘Ganga Vahini’ - has been approved. Steps are being taken to operationalise this network.
As many as 118 Urban Local Bodies have been identified to be covered within five years, in a targeted attempt to control pollution.
The Prime Minister was also briefed on ongoing sewerage, river front development projects and critical hotspots along the stretch of the river, which generate the most pollution.
The existing gaps in sewage treatment capacity were highlighted. A total of 764 grossly polluting industrial units have been identified along the stretch of the Ganga. Tanneries, pulp and paper and sugar industries account for over three-fourth of this number.
The NDA has submitted a three phase plan spanning for nearly 18 years at `51,000 crore to clean the river. The short-term plan slated to take off in next six months.