New Delhi, Dec 15: Union Minister Uma Bharti's pledge to clean the Ganga and the Sangam in three years depends highly on the state governments' reaction to the same. Although she said that the Center was committed to the clean-up process, she also voiced a dismay at the extent of pollution after inspecting the river at Allahabad.
Bharti said,"We are committed to cleaning up the Ganga in the next three years. Since a major part of the holy river's trajectory runs through UP, the help and cooperation of the state government will be obviously required. We are looking forward to a meeting with the UP government scheduled for December 20."
Taking stock of the quality of water that Allahabad is receiving at the Sangam, the Union Minister said,"the reddish water gives an impression that Gangajal is not reaching Allahabad at all. The people are getting only effluents discharged upstream".
She further added,"We are looking forward to make a visible difference in three years. We have a comprehensive three-step plan to clean up the Ganga".
Earlier this year, Bharti's ministry had submitted an affidavit with a three-phased plan of action comprising "short term - a period of three years, medium term - a period of next five years and long term - a period of next ten years and more".
For the first phase, the affidavit has identified that "118 towns have been tentatively identified for necessary interventions to achieve total sanitation targets including water waste treatment and solid waste management".
The ministry has also listed seven river front locations" which included the holy cities of Haridwar and Allahabad, and ancient temple town of Varanasi.