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Prime Minister Modi for long had wanted Nitin Gadkari to take charge of Ganga cleaning

During 2016 reshuffle itself, Prime Minister had wanted to give water ministry to Gadkari but he denied it and agreed to assist Bharti in handling Ganga related work, according to official sources.

Published: 03rd September 2017 06:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2017 06:38 PM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari  (File |ENS)

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (File |ENS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has been given portfolio of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, was already advising his cabinet colleague Uma Bharti on work related to cleaning of Ganga on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During 2016 reshuffle itself, Prime Minister had wanted to give water ministry to Gadkari but he denied it and agreed to assist Bharti in handling Ganga related work, according to official sources.

With Gadkari at helms of affair, his plan of having waterways for transportation through rivers is likely to get further boost.He is also expected to push river interlinking projects, irrigation projects and finding solution to check misuse of ground water.

Prime Minister was miffed with Bharti over slow progress of works related to cleaning of the river in last three years. National Green Tribunal has pulled up the government over no progress made so far eradicating pollution.

Also stuck is country's first river interlinking project, Ken-Betwa with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressing anger over the way it was being planned by Bharti.

While Bharti wanted to take credit for launching the country's first river linking project, Chouhan had registered his objection directly in the Prime Minister's Office in July 2017. Madhya Pradesh has also denied to give no objection certificate, which is mandatory for its launch. 

In July 2016, an informal sub-committee consisting of Gadkari, Minister for Road, Transport and Highways, Minster for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti and Principal Secretary to PM Nripendra Mishra was constituted to look over the work related to Ganga cleaning. 

"The sub group was constituted as it was felt that Bharti, was unable to handle the work alone and needed advise of senior minister. It was to advise Bharti to expedite the work," said sources.

Prime Minister Office also directly monitors progress of work realted to Ganga and prime minister has held  a series of meetings in last three years to take stock of the work.

Gadkari was present at the launch of first set of nearly 300 Ganga cleaning related projects launched in July 2016 at Haridwar. 

"As far as Ganga cleaning is concerned there has been nothing tangible so far to show even after three years," said a senior official in water ministry.

Bharti who claimed that cleaning of the river Ganga was very close to her heart has been given charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Gadkari had also suggested some innovative ideas to Bharati for cleaning the river. One of these include driving gas from the sewage waste which he has already implemented in Nagpur.  

--Ends--  



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