LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kanpur for a day to give a renewed push to the Namami Gange Project on Saturday.
He will also chair the first meeting of National Ganga Council (NGC) in which Chief Ministers of five states and over a dozen central ministers are likely to take part.
In a bid to do a reality check of the progress of Namami Gange Project himself, the PM will sail on the waves of the holy river in Kanpur.
This stretch of the Ganga has always drawn attention and criticism for being perhaps the most polluted one from Gaumukh to Gangasagar.
The reason for the high pollution levels of Ganga in Kanpur is the discharge of effluents by the industrial units, including over 200 tanneries, on its banks in Jajmau, on Kanpur outskirts.
PM’s visit will also be an occasion to review the Namami Gange project in UP.
At least a dozen Union Ministers, nine secretaries of Central departments and Chief Ministers of five states including UP, Uttarakhand and Bihar, will be taking part in the NGC talks.
However, CMs of two states – West Bengal and Jharkhand – may skip the first meeting of NGC. While uncertainty was shrouding the presence of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand’s Raghubar Das is preoccupied with the state elections.
Namami Gange project, despite being an ambitious plan worth Rs 20,000 crore with a resolve to clean the holy Ganga across the country — from origin to end — failed to give projected results in the first tenure of PM Modi.
During his Saturday visit, the PM is likely to announce a slew of measures under the Namami Gange Project.
Besides, he will cruise through the river to send out a message that instead of reviewing the Clean Ganga Mission from Delhi, he will be navigating through the waters for a firsthand experience.
The double-decker steamer for PM’s Ganga voyage has been brought from Varanasi.
Kanpur is notorious for contaminating the river with sewage and industrial-chemical waste and PM Modi wants to confront the challenge in Kanpur itself.
As per principal secretary, urban development, Manoj Kumar Singh, all 16 drains discharging 300 mld of effluents into the river in Kanpur have been permanently tapped from Thursday night.
The PM will spend half of the day in the ‘Manchester of East’ as Kanpur used to be known as. A visit to Atal Ghat has also been included in his itinerary.