Varanasi: The government is mulling a proposal for opening a branch of the Central Water and Power Research Station in Varanasi with a view to intensifying study and research on rivers in the region, Union Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharati said here on Wednesday.
She said that a branch of the centre, which is based in Pune, can easily be opened here if the Uttar Pradesh government were to provide land for the same.
Praising Narendra Modi for his commitment to cleaning Ganga river, Bharati said that "we have regained our self- respect and self-confidence" since he took office as the prime minister.
"Modi has made us realise that we can do anything, we can even clean the Ganga," she said at a function here organised by the Ganga Mahasabha and Panchganga Foundation.
Meanwhile, after she courted controversy by suggesting that the immersion of ashes in the Ganga should be done in the middle of the river, Bharati today said she was mistaken on this sensitive religious issue.
"I was mistaken on this issue of immersion of ashes and have realised that I am no one to make any kind of decision on such sensitive religious issues nor has our government got any right to make any decision on such religious matters," said Bharati.
"This issue is closely associated with our traditions and only the saints and seers of our country can take any decision on this matter (immersion of ashes)," she added.