New Delhi, July 17 (ANI): Despite spending 17,000 crore rupees on river cleaning projects, Ganga and Yamuna were "no cleaner" now as they were two decades ago, the government has admitted in Lok Sabha.
Responding to a Calling Attention Motion on checking pollution in rivers and lakes in India, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said: "I admit with full responsibility that Ganga and Yamuna are no cleaner than 20 years ago."
Ramesh added that a "determined and renewed effort" was required to cleanse these major rivers.
He said he could provide figures on their pollution levels but "I myself don't believe these numbers, for a layman, the answer is a depressing no."
Over 816 crore rupees were spent on two phases of the Ganga Action Plan (GAP), and 682 crore rupees were spent on the first phase of the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) and another 190 crore rupees on the second phase so far, the minister informed.
Referring to the National Ganga River Basin Authority headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said global tender for project consultants to prepare a basin management plan have attracted 30 bids and the selection would be done in the next two months. (ANI)