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Posted at: Jul 30, 2018, 6:41 PM; last updated: Jul 30, 2018, 6:41 PM (IST)

Govt sanctions raising new battalion from Territorial Army to patrol river areas

Ravi S Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30

The Union Government has accorded sanction for raising a new Composite Ecological Task Force (CETF) of Territorial Army to patrol sensitive river areas for protection of biodiversity and other tasks.

Responding to a query, Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Satya Pal Singh informed the House that the task of pollution abatement and Ganga rejuvenation has to be taken to a level so that it becomes a people’s movement.

“The CETF is expected to be largely manned by ex-service men who would bring their spirit of dedication and expertise to the tasks related to pollution abatement on the lines of Ecological Task Force Battalions, which are already successfully functioning in different parts of the country,” Singh said.

The ministry is implementing the programme of pollution abatement and rejuvenation of the Ganges as per Ganga River Basin Management Plan drawn by consortium of IITs which consist of short, medium and long term activities.

“The decision to raise the new battalion is not on account of any lacunae in its implementation but to provide platform to every section of people whose services can be fruitfully utilised in this onerous task and has been a component of the Namami Gange Mission,” Singh added.

The battalion is supposed to perform its role under the guidance of authorities who have the mandate to perform a particular role and they do not have the powers to arrest those found polluting the river. 

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