No cremations in near periphery of Narmada river: MP govt

Sasikala Natarajan, the second accused in the disproportionate asset case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa filed an application in a special court questioning the jurisdiction of a judge

Updated: Jun 25, 2012, 23:29 PM IST

Indore: Madhya Pradesh Government will henceforth not allow to carry out cremation rituals within the periphery of 5 km on the bank of Narmada river in the state, apparently to keep the resultant pollution in check.

"The municipal bodies would be asked to take villagers in confidence and seek their support for carrying out cremations at at least 5 km away from the bank of Narmada river," Madhya Pradesh Municipal Administration Minister Babulal Gaur told reporters on Monday.

While launching a dedicated `Narmada River Conservation Plan`, aimed at making the river pollution free, Gaur said the concerned municipal bodies will be asked to construct crematoriums (shamshan grah) in villages situated near the river.

Narmada river flows through 1,077 kms in Madhya Pradesh.
Gaur said Rs 1,496 crore has been earmarked for the project which will be implemented in three phases over next ten years.

"Madhya Pradesh government has sought a fifty per cent contribution for cleaning Narmada river from Centre on the lines of Ganga river cleanliness drive at Rs 4000 crore," the minister said, adding he is pursuing the matter with Union minister Kamal Nath.

Gaur said his department has earmarked special grants of Rs 25 lakh, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore for municipalities, municipal councils and corporations, respectively, towards cleaning Narmada river.

According to reports, pollution of the `sacred` river has reached worrying proportions in the state with industrial affluents and remains of cremated bodies being discharged into the river, mostly at the places of pilgrimage at Maheshwar, Mandleshwar, Onkareshwar, under the Indore division.

Responding to a query on `Rajiv Awas Yojna` Gaur said the state government has identified 1,258 slums with a budget of Rs 7174.45 crore.

When asked about the Metro Railway Plan for Bhopal and
Indore, Gaur said global tenders are being invited for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) as the pre-feasibility survey for the ambitious project has already been conducted in the twin cities.

Gaur said the state government was considering a proposal to conduct Indian Municipal Services Commission (IMSC) examination for recruitment to local bodies on the lines of Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

At least 25,000 people could be selected through the IMSC exam, he added.