NEW DELHI: Government today exuded confidence in Lok Sabha that Ganga would be cleaned by July 2018 and said the return of aqua life in the river would be the biggest benchmark to prove that it has been rejuvenated and efforts towards its cleansing have succeeded.
Responding to a series of supplementaries during Question Hour, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said she would announce in the House in July 2018 that the river has been cleaned and rejuvenated.
She said the return of river dolphins, turtles and gold fish in the Ganga aqua life system would be the biggest benchmark to prove that the river has rejuvenated.
Bharti said the cleanliness of a river cannot be established in a lab where quality of packaged drinking water is established.
Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav suggested that the drainage system of cities should be reworked to ensure that the waste goes to the fields and not rivers. He said it would provide farmers with fertiliser and save rivers from pollution.
At this, the Water Resources Minister asked the SP leader to ask his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to issue no- objection certificates to two of her ministry's projects in Mathura and Vrindavan.
She said she has not been able to get an appointment with Akhilesh Yadav and the SP chief should ensure that she gets one tomorrow.
Bharti rejected suggestions that the government was not serious about Ganga rejuvenation and said what could not be achieved in the past 29 years after spending Rs 4000 crore, was taking place now.