Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
With Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath set to embark on a five-day ‘Ganga Yatra’ from January 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the progress and implementation of the Namami Gange programme in the state.
“UP Chief Secretary R K Tiwari made a presentation apprising the PM of efforts undertaken to clean the Ganga. He also outlined the objectives of the proposed Ganga Yatra,” said sources.
The meeting, which took place at the PM’s residence, was also attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Jalshakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and senior officers, the sources said.
They said that during the meeting, UP government officials informed that 79 drains, which were earlier flowing into the Ganga untreated, have been tapped and work is on to tap 25 other drains. Efforts have also been made to stop untreated flow of industrial effluent into the river.
Sources said, “The PM observed that a lot of progress has been made towards cleaning the Ganga in comparison to earlier efforts, and the time has come to make people aware about it.”
The meeting comes days before the start of the 1,358-km-long Ganga Yatra, which will start simultaneously from Bijnor in the west and Ballia in the East and conclude in Kanpur on January 31. It will cross more than 1,000 gram panchayats and 21 urban local bodies in 27 districts. About 150 km will be covered through waterways and the rest by road.
It was learnt that several central ministers may join the yatra at selected places. All departments of the central government that have a role in keeping the Ganga clean have been asked to join the yatra.
Sources said that cultural activities as well as awareness and outreach programs are being planned during the yatra, which Modi may also join.
This is the second big event on the Ganga being organised in the state in two months. The first meeting of the National Ganga Council, the apex body to implement and monitor the Clean Ganga programme, was organised in Kanpur in December.