New Delhi: Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Uma Bharti on Thursday launched the “Namami Gange” project in Haridwar, Uttarakhand - a flagship programme of the Modi government which envisages modernisation of ghats, crematoriums and development of sewage infrastructure, among others.
The government will launch some 300 "Namami Gange" projects at various locations in Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Haryana and Delhi on Thursday.
The project also has plans for afforestation, pilot drain, interceptor drain, trash skimmers and conservation of biodiversity across the country.
"It is a historic moment... For the first time, the river is being cleaned with wholesomeness. We will show phase I of Ganga cleaning in October 2016 while the second phase will be completed two years later," Bharti told reporters.
On Wednesday, the minister referred to "Ganga Gram Yojana" and said 400 villages along the Ganga will be developed as Ganga Gram in phase-I. Thirteen IITs have adopted five villages each for development as Ganga Grams.
Bharti said as part of the programme, 328 sarpanchs have been trained at Seechewal village in Punjab.
At least 47 such projects will be inaugurated at various locations in Dehradun, Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Haridwar and Chamoli districts of Uttrakhand.
The Minister added that eight biodiversity centers will be developed along Ganga for the restoration of identified priority species even as forestation will be carried out along the river. These centers will be developed at Rishikesh, Dehradun, Narora, Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj and Barrackpore.
The main function to this effect will be held in Haridwar which will be attended by Uttrakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Choudhary Birender Singh, Mahesh Sharma and Uma Bharti.
"Namami Gange" is a Union Government Project which integrates the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga river.
(With agency inputs)