New Delhi: The government is making long- and short-term plans to clean up river Ganga and it will take three years to come out with final plans, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said Tuesday.
"Short, medium and long term measures are being taken. Within three years we will put in place a proper mechanism to clean up the river," Bharti said at a seminar on 'Cleaning of India's Rivers -- Design of Participatory Approaches'.
The most important thing is to ensure that there is steady flow of water in the river, she said.
"During my discussions with stakeholders, I realized it was not only important to ensure that the water of the river was clean but also that there was a steady flow," she said.
"After all we can fight pollution only when there is water in the river."
For this, the minister said it was important to know techniques like irrigation using less water and fight pollution in water bodies.
Uma Bharti said it was important to explore why rivers and water bodies in India have depleted so much. "Over the last 40-50 years we have lost so many of our water bodies."
"Western countries have been successful in cleaning up rivers. In India also it has been done successfully in Gujarat and some parts of Rajasthan," she said, adding all states have assured her of support to clean the Ganga.
She said it was important to have master lines for sewage removal in cities.
"The environment ministry and the water resources ministry is holding a meeting with industrialists Wednesday to evolve an action plan," she added.
RK Pachauri, director of The Energy Research Institute (TERI), said: "What is needed to clean up water bodies is a participatory approach."
"The only way to bring about a change in the situation is to see that all stakeholders are involved," he added.