Lucknow: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti Tuesday participated in a cleanliness drive of drying and polluted Gomti River in Lucknow.
The ministers said all required efforts would be made to rejuvenate the water body.
Singh said countries with dying rivers cannot develop and cited the example of development of London after the rejuvenation of Thames River.
"She (Uma Bharti) promised us that she will take all attempts to turn Gomti into a clean and beautiful river exactly the way Sabarmati was developed," said Singh.
Meanwhile, Uma Bharti said that the Gomti River will be rejuvenated on the lines of Sabarmati River in western province of Gujarat.
She said the same technical team has been entrusted with the development of Gomti and the team has already submitted its report after detailed study of the river to the government.
"Gomti flows and it meets with the Ganges. But it faces several hurdles on its route. We will solve those problems. We need to keep our faces very clean and beautiful. Similarly, the part of Gomti that is flown through Lucknow is the river's face. We need to wash and clean it and make it beautiful," said Bharti.
Uma Bharti added that by adopting short and medium measures, within three years river Ganges, will also be cleaned and within ten years, long time measures will be taken for the development of the river. Bharti said she hopes the regional government will assist her in fulfilling the objective of complete cleanliness of Gomti.
A rally was also organised on the occasion to raise awareness among people about proper usage and restoration of the holy river. Hundreds of people from different walks of life, right from schoolchildren, college students, teachers, professors, bankers, politicians, advocates, social workers, businessmen and others took part in the rally.
Participants in the event said cleanliness drive will improve the conditions of Gomti River should occur regularly as the river is considered the lifeline of Lucknow city and it has a great spiritual significance.
Restoring Gomti to its lost glory is a challenge for Rajnath Singh who had pegged his general elections campaign around the revival of this Lucknow's lifeline. In spite of having linkages with various tributaries, Gomti is drying fast as the groundwater level is decreasing. Moreover, almost all its tributaries are filled with sludge and sewage.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered government officers to work on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on October 02, a national holiday, to clean ministries - including toilets - in a nationwide cleanliness drive.
Narendra Modi plans to honour Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, by making efforts to solve the country's sanitation and rubbish problems within five years to mark the 150th anniversary of Gandhi's Oct 2 birthday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, by launching the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' (Clean India Campaign) on September 25, had pledged to completely clean India by October 2019, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. To implement its ambitious plan the Modi government will spend nearly Rupees 2000 billion in five-year time.
The Urban Development Ministry will be allocating Rupees 620 billion for cleaning towns across the country, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will spend Rupees 1340 billion for the programme to be launched by Modi on October 02.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programme will be implemented in 4041 cities and towns across the country.