Govt to form committee for cleansing of Yamuna river: Uma Bharti

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New Delhi, Jun 17: Close to the heels of a secretaries-level group to rejuvenate Ganga river, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday announced a separate committee for cleansing the polluted Yamuna river in Delhi.

"We have already formed a group comprising secretaries from the ministries of environment, transport, tourism and water resources to clean up Ganga. Similarly, we would be constituting a committee of officials from the ministries of Urban Development, Rural Development and Central Water Commission to cleanse Yamuna," Bharati told reporters.

She was briefing reporters after planting saplings on the banks of Yamuna to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy in Uttarakhand last year, in which thousands of people were killed in the devastating deluge.

Pointing out that the officials from the three ministries would focus on developing Yamuna river, she said, people of Delhi would also be part of the programme to make it a people's movement.

"Yesterday, I spoke to the Rural Development and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu. I have conveyed to them that the development of Delhi's river banks must be river friendly," she added.

Bharati also reiterated the measures taken by her ministry in the aftermath of unprecedented floods in Uttarakhand in 2013.

"Directions have been given to water resources authorities to issue immediate warnings, if there is a rise in water levels in lakes with an area of over 50 hectare. The information would be passed onto the concerned state governments," she stated.

Further, steps would be taken to repair embankments of rivers damaged by the floods last year, the Minister noted.

Bharati also suggested that development and environment can go hand-in-hand.

Earlier, addressing the gathering on the occasion, Amarjit Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources said that none of the developing countries have ventured into a massive mission like cleansing a vast river like Ganga.

"The task of cleaning-up river Ganga is one of the noble service to the nation. It also happens to a challenging task, as well," he observed.

PTI

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