Chennai: The Centre's Ganga clean-up programme was the 'beginning' of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government's mission to clean up major water bodies in India, including southern rivers, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday.
The Indian rivers and other water bodies were 'filthy' because "we have the habit of throwing (things) into water bodies," he said.
"So Ganga cleaning is beginning of water bodies cleaning mission of India. We will come to Cauvery, Godavari and all southern rivers also because we want to clean all rivers and water bodies. That is our mission," he said in his address at an International Youth Conclave at Ethiraj College here.
He said that the government was committed to mitigate pollution in its various forms--air, water and land.
The minister particularly favoured power generation from renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and nuclear, saying they don't pollute.
He said the government was particularly keen on increasing solar power generation, recalling the success achieved by Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister in this sector.
Further, the government has identified 17 sectors with over 3,000 highly polluting industrial units, which have been asked to install round-the-clock real-time monitoring devices to analyse air pollution and the quality of effluents let out.
They have to adhere to government rules regarding pollution-mitigation and there would be no compromise on this issue, he added.
Taking a swipe at the previous UPA government, he said that his Environment Ministry then used to be a 'roadblock and speed breaker' department where files moved slowly.
However, after the NDA came to power, the processes had been simplified and made more transparent, with introduction of online application for environmental clearances, Javadekar said, adding applicants can now track the movement of their files using an unique ID allotted to them.
Many decisions, including granting environment clearance for blacktop roads to benefit the Indian Army along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China were taken in swift time, he said.