FAILING ‘MAA GANGA’
Flashback 2014; when BJP’s PM candidate, Narendra Modi was taking pledge to save the mighty Ganges by invoking dramatic emotions in a heart wrenching tone. A reminder of his previous statements and promises:-
20 Dec 2013
“People want answers from those who misled the nation in the name of Ganga. Those who cannot care for the Ganga cannot care for the nation!
Condition of Ganga is pitiable. For others, Ganga may be a river but for us Ganga is our Mother. Ganga is an integral part of our culture.”
Apr 24, 2014
While filing his nomination, Shri Narendra Modi said, “First I thought the BJP sent me here, then I thought I am going to Kashi, but after I came here, I feel Maa Ganga has called me. I feel like a child who has returned to his mother’s lap.”
May 3, 2014
“Ganga’s condition is worrisome. Contaminated water is a threat to children. We want to change it. It’s not about politics but about humanity.”
May 18, 2014
“I was stopped from talking to you during campaigning, but even then you made me victorious… There is a huge potential for development in Varanasi. I vow to make the city and Ganga clean,”
“I did not come to Varanasi of my own volition, but Ma Ganga called me.”
“Now, it is time to do my bit for Ma Ganga,” Modi said. He further repeated, “Ma Ganga is waiting for her son to free her from pollution,”
May 24, 2014
“I will represent Varanasi in Lok Sabha & I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve Ganga Maa& work for Varanasi’s development.”
Facts cut through the fog and the sheer betrayal of PM Modi’s promises has been exposed, as the ‘NamamiGange’ project miserably falters :-
- Out of the 254 projects sanctioned, Only 75 Projects have been completed. This means 70% of projects are not finished until Nov 2018.
- Out of the proposed Rs 24,672 Cr spending, Only Rs 6,131 Cr has been released till November 2018 i.e 75% of the funds have not been released.
- Out of the released Rs 6,131Cr, only Rs 4,994 Cr has been spent, i.e 80% of the proposed funds have NOT been spent on NamamiGange till Nov 2018.
- A majority of sanctioned and completed projects under NamamiGange are sewage treatment plants (STPs). Till date, NamamiGange had created only 517 million litres per day of additional capacity against the aim of 2,953 million litres per day it aimed for. This means that 82.5% of the target is unachieved.
- A total network of 2,071 km of new sewer line projects was sanctioned after NamamiGange came into being but only 66.85 km has been laid till August 2018.
- Under NamamiGangeProgramme towards cleaning of river a total of 131 projects have been sanctioned for development of sewerage infrastructure, Out of these 131 projects only 31 have been completed till Dec 2018.
- Only 19% of funds meant for Sewage Infrastructure have been spent by Modi Govt.
- The latest report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which Modi Govt had put under wrap for several months, shows that the Ganga became more polluted along its stretch in Uttarakhand between 2014 and 2018, while in the remaining stretch in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal it remained as polluted in 2018 as it was in 2014.
- According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) – Only 1 out of 39 locations through which the Ganga flows had clean water this year.
- As many as 37 of the 41 locations through which the river flows reported moderate to severe water pollution, according to the ‘Biological Water Quality Assessment of the River Ganga (2017-18)’ report that was only recently made public by the CPCB after the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Modi Govt.
- According to a map of Ganga river water quality presented by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to National Green Tribunal (NGT) in August 2018, only five out of 70-odd monitoring stations had water that was fit for drinking and seven for bathing (see ‘The filthy stem’).
12. In August 2018, A fresh RTI has revealed that the pollution levels in river Ganga are higher than the levels recorded back in 2014 when the Modi Govt launched its most ambitious ‘NamamiGange’ initiative. Particularly in PM Modi’s constituency, Varanasi- lab tests have found that bacterial contamination is now higher than the levels recorded back in 2014
13. In 2016, the National Green Tribunal criticized the Uttar Pradesh government for allowing dead bodies to be dumped in the Ganga. Thereafter, An Anguished Supreme Court says – ‘Will Ganga be cleaned in this century?’
14. PM Modi had exhorted the NRI’s to donate for Ganga cleaning. Data available till July 27, 2018, shows that only Rs 10.71 crore was donated by resident Indians while Rs 3.81 crore was received from NRIs/PIOs and Overseas Indians
15. The National Ganga Council (NGC), which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has never met since it was constituted in October 2016. The NGC was formed to prevent, protect and control pollution in River Ganga.