Uttarakhand CM appeals for rupees 10,000 crore for Ganga's maintenance and development

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (ANI): Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal today said that the state has sought rupees 10,000 crore annually for development-related projects and for the maintenance of Ganga and forests.

"We have urged the Centre to give 1,000 mw of power free of cost to us and also sought Rs 10,000 crore annually for the state's development, maintaining the Ganga and our forests as Uttarakhand has 65 per cent forest cover," he said after he attended the first meeting of the Ganga River Basin Authority (GRBA) here.

"How to keep the Ganga clean as it is a national river and how the cities and towns situated on its banks, can be systematised, were among the issues which were discussed," he added.

The GRBA meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at his official residence.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Forest and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy were also present.

The setting up of the GRBA got the approval of Dr. Singh in February. The authority has been formed to streamline steps to clean up Ganga.

The GRBA is responsible for addressing the problem of pollution in the Ganga in a holistic and comprehensive manner. This will include water quality, minimum ecological flows, sustainable access and other issues relevant to river ecology and management.

The authority has been given the task of managing the basin in addition to look after the cleanliness of the river water flowing through various states.

The Ganga Basin states include Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. (ANI)

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