Kanpur: Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati Friday announced setting up of 'Ganga Guard Corps' to prevent people from polluting the river Ganges and said the work to clean Ganga would begin in next 45 days.
"Ganga Guard Corps, which would have people from social organisations and also retired persons, would function on the lines of Red Cross.
"They would be deployed on the banks of the river and specially during festivals Corps teams would move on the banks and prevent people from polluting the river," Bharati told reporters at Sarsaiya ghat after inspection of drains that fall into the holy river.
She said the government was considering to take help of Army for a period of three years to train the Corps.
The Minister said a team comprising experts, including scientists from IIT consortium, officials from Pollution Control Department and experts from Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) would formed to work on a plan to rejuvenate Ganga.
Elaborating about other steps to clean Ganga, she said there were also plans to carry out a plantation drive on the banks of the river.
She held discharge of industrial waste as major reason of pollution of the river.
The Union Minister made it clear that there would be no ban on immersion of mortal remains in the river but said it should be immersed in the middle of the river and not on the banks, so that it could be consumed by the fish and other creatures in the river.
Bharati emphasised on setting up of electric crematoriums and traditional ones which consumes less wood.
"A blueprint of modern crematoriums, which consume less firewood, and electric crematoriums would be sent to the saints for approval," she added.
"The work to clean Ganga would begin in 45 days and it would start yielding result within three years and within 15 years, the river would be clean," Bharati said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's concerns about Ganga and issue raised by him on international platforms led to institutions and people across the globe to invest money and resources in the rejuvenation plan.
She said that her ministry was today surveying the drains opening into the river and would submit a report about the same.
She lauded the efforts of Uttar Pradesh and other states in cleaning of Ganga and said they were contributing in the efforts to make the river pollution-free.