New Delhi, January 29
The Union Water Resources Ministry today made a strong pitch for ensuring a minimum ecological flow to rejuvenate the Ganga. It batted for larger public participation in the Centre’s mission for the cause.
“There is a need for a minimum ecological flow. Rejuvenating the river will be difficult otherwise. All amphibians can survive only if there is an unfettered flow from dams. Silt movement can occur if flow is unfettered. If the flow is stopped at places, it will create sand islands like it has happened near Haridwar,” said Secretary, Union Water Resources, Shashi Shekhar.
He made the statement while replying to a query in connection with a Supreme Court matter pertaining to a dam construction on the river.
The ministry has been maintaining that it will not allow dam construction on any river if its ecological flow is found to be less than 1,000 cusecs.
Shekhar said the government would discuss water management and sewage disposal ideas with village heads during ‘Swachh Ganga-Gramin Sahbhagita’, a national-level stakeholder consultation to be held here tomorrow.
“Until now, the urban areas were under focus in Ganga cleaning programmes. But we realised that villages located along the river contribute sewage waste to the extent of 10,000 litres to 50,000 litres per day into the river. Hence, we are targeting villages too now,” he said.
Over 1,600 panchayat heads have been invited to the conference, which will be attended by senior Union ministers, including Uma Bharti, Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani.
Besides, the Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand are expected to attend the session.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants us to reach out to people and involve big celebrities in the programme. There is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan and Ratan Tata,” Shekhar added.—PTI
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