Will Narendra Modi be able to infuse new life into dead Ganga?

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SC raps Modi govt for lack of urgency in cleaning River Ganga.
Cleaning up of the Ganga found top slot in Budget 2014 - Narendra Modi government's maiden Budget and special emphasis was laid on cleaning the 2,525-km river. Even a separate ministry for the river Ganga under Uma Bharti was formed.

But on Wednesday, the Supreme Court pulled up the Modi government over the cleaning of the river Ganga which was also in the BJP's election manifesto. Telling Centre to keep the issue of cleaning Ganga on front burner, the apex court said that the government is not showing any urgency in Ganga protection measures.

What Supreme Court has said

• Taking a potshot at the government on cleaning the Ganga, the Supreme Court said no urgency was seen in protecting the river.

• The court told the solicitor general: "Are you saving the holy river. You are showing no urgency in this matter. But only in other matters."

• The SC has asked the Centre to furnish a roadmap for cleaning river Ganga and submit it within two weeks.

What BJP manifesto for 2014 said for Ganga

• BJP commits to ensure the cleanliness, purity and uninterrupted flow of the Ganga on priority.

• A massive 'Clean Rivers Programme' will be launched across the country driven by people's participation.

What Modi Government proposed in Budget 2014

• The finance minister earmarked Rs 2,037 crore for the cleanup and conservation of the river Ganga.

• An integrated Ganga development project called the 'Namami Gange' was also announced in the Budget 2014.

• Setting up of an "NRI Fund for Ganga" was also announced to finance special projects related to the river.

• A sum of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for development and beautification of Ghats (river fronts) on river Ganga.

• A special ministry for cleaning river Ganga was created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is being headed by Uma Bharti.

Money spent so far

• Since the Central Government started GAP in 1985, a total of Rs 916 crores had been spent till 2009 for the purpose of cleaning Ganga.

• In 2009, it was announced that Rs 15,000 crores more will be spent for the Clean Ganga campaign under the river development fund.

• The last three decades have seen an allocation of over Rs 20,000 crore through the two phases of Ganga Action Plan (GAP I & II) to clean up the river.

The Ganga cleaning programmes so far

• Ganga Action Plan (GAP) 1 & 2

• National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)

• Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP)

• Various Save Ganga schemes were also launched in these years.

The reason behind pollution in the river

• According to the Government of India, 2.9 billion litres of sewage is discharged daily into the Ganga.

• According to a report, in addition to cremation, sewage of 27 class I cities and towns and effluents from 137 major industries are the main source of pollution of the river.

• Domestic waste such as defecation, untreated industrial waste, and pollution during religious events are major reasons.

• Every day 1.7 billion litres of such waste run into the river.

• Sewage constitutes the largest portion (80 per cent) of the pollution load followed by pollution caused by industrial discharge agricultural activities.

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