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Time running out for Ganga: PM

Warning that time was running out to preserve the Ganga, PM Manmohan Singh pulled up state governments for tardy performance on sewage treatment.



New Delhi: Warning that time was running out to preserve the Ganga, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today pulled up state governments for tardy performance on sewage treatment and asked them to take action against industries polluting the river.

Voicing concern over discharge of 2,900 million litres of sewage in the Ganga every day, Singh asked state governments to send proposals for new sewage treatment plants and said that adequate funding was available to take up projects.

Addressing the third meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority, he also flagged the issue of industrial pollution and said that industrial effluents, though only 20 per cent of the total effluents, were a cause of major concern as they were toxic and non-biodegradable.

Singh said that the State Pollution Control Boards were required to monitor compliance of effluent discharge standards.
"Action must be taken against the defaulting industries by the State Boards under the powers delegated to them by the Central government," the Prime Minister said.

He requested the state governments to strengthen the relevant enforcement mechanisms.

"Time is not on our side and we have to act quickly," Singh said, adding that the solutions to these issues should not be piecemeal and should meet the test of scientific reasoning.

Singh said in order to formulate long term policies and actions, the Ministry of Environment and Forests commissioned a consortium of seven IITs to prepare a comprehensive River Basin Management Plan for the Ganga.
PTI

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