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Rs.18 CR TO BE SPENT ON CLEANING VARANASI

“We have to clean India and have to begin from Varanasi.”  – Narendra Modi.

The Union Minister of State for Tourism, Shripad Naik has announced allotment of Rs. 18 crore for the total facelift of the famous Ghats of River Ganga in Varanasi.

This is one of the first in the series of decisions taken immediately after Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India. Modi has inducted Uma Bharati with the task of totally cleaning River Ganga and Varanasi and directed Naik to develop this ancient city as a major attraction for the international tourists.

‘Mission Clean Ganga by 2020’ is the first priority of the Prime Minister. Modi has announced that no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluents would flow into River Ganga and the investment required to create the necessary treatment and sewerage infrastructure will be shared suitably between the Central and state governments.

According to Naik, he would soon discuss thread bare with the Prime Minister about the cleaning of the Ghats in Varanasi on working out plans and modalities for developing this holy city as a major attraction to tourists.  He is also likely to discuss the matter of rejuvenation of Ganga River and launching a major cleaning operation with Uma Bharati, the Union Minister for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Soon after taking oath as a Union Minister, Uma Bharti had declared that her ministry would make Ganga River free from pollution. Cleaning up this holy river is one of the top priorities of Modi and he has appointed her as the minister for Ganga Rejuvenation since she was clamouring for making this river free from pollution for a long time.

Modi is personally interested to develop the riverfront near the Ghats of Ganga.

CORPORATES TO COME FORWARD FOR CLEANING VARANASI

Meanwhile, in a separate development the corporate companies are going to be asked of their cooperation for assisting the government and playing their own roles in cleaning the Ghats of Varanasi. They will be asked to cleanse and purify waters of the bathing Ghats.

The corporate can “adopt” Ghats out of the 100 Ghats at Varanasi and launch their cleaning and sanitation activities. This is going to open up a new vista in their CSR activities. As a large number of Ghats are centuries old, the steps leading to River Ganga stands damaged and garbage litters in the steps. The corporate companies can launch both cleaning job and repair of the steps.

Most of the Ghats lack urinals, toilets, facility of safe drinking water and bins for storing garbage, the corporate companies can particularly launch their CSR activities in these areas by providing sanitation facilities. The corporates can particularly fulfill Modi’s dream of purifying and cleaning Ganga River by stopping the dumping of different Puja materials including floral garlands, flowers and fruits/sweets.

A spokesman of the Union Minister for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, says that some of the corporates including large hospital chains, chemical companies and hotel chains have also expressed their keenness in taking steps to the Ghats of Varanasi from the menace of plastics.

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