Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: The first high-level meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Ganga, constituted by the Narendra Modi government, is expected to meet on Wednesday to finalise the final draft for cleaning the country`s holiest river, which is also one of the most polluted of all.
According to reports, the representatives of five ministries will attend the inaugural brainstorming session, which has been called to pool their resources to fulfil the Prime Minister`s most ambitious project.
The representatives of environment, power, tourism and shipping, besides water resources, will attend today`s meeting.
On May 29, three days after he was sworn-in as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced on micro-blogging site, Twitter, that he will represent Varanasi in the Lok Sabha as it gives him an opportunity to serve Maa Gange.
"I will represent Varanasi in Lok Sabha & I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve Ganga Maa & work for Varanasi`s development," he had tweeted.
The Ganga Action Plan, which has till now functioned as an arm of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has been placed under the supervision of Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, who is also in-charge of the Ganga Mission.
Bharti`s ministry is likely to be re-christened as Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, to coordinate with other ministries to complete the clean Ganga Mission.
Each Ministry has reportedly been tasked with a specific mandate. Tourism Minister Shripad Naik has been asked to explore and expedite a tourism plan covering the stretch of the river starting from Gangotri, and running through Rishikesh, Hardwar and Varanasi.
Piyush Goyal, who is in-charge of the Power Ministry, has been entrusted with the responsibility of looking after ways to harness hydro-electricity. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has been assigned with the task of cleaning the river, and the plan to set up a national waterway has been placed under the stewardship of Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari has been asked to prep a feasibility study on the proposed river-route at the earliest. It will been divided into segments for development in a time-bound manner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally monitoring the progress an the implementation of his dream project.
While campaigning in Varanasi for his party, Modi had said, “Ma Ganga aur Benaras se mera rishta purana hai.” While attending the Ganga Aarti at the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Modi said that the mision to clean India will commence from Varanasi by cleaning the holy river.