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Ganga’s Pollution More Than 2014: Modi Has Betrayed Indians, Says Congress

Cong: 'Namami Gange' projects have "miserably faltered" as only one-fourth of them have been completed till date.

New Delhi, Aug 24

The Congress today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying the people of Varanasi by failing to fulfil his promises of cleaning the Ganga river, as pollution level was found to be more than that in 2014.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi alleged that the ‘Namami Gange’ projects have “miserably faltered” as only one-fourth of them have been completed till date with a few months left for the Modi government’s tenure to end.

He said the people of Varanasi and other cities along the Ganga river will never forgive the prime minister and his government for betraying them through unfulfilled promises.

“Cleaning the Ganga was one of the major poll promises of the BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha election…Going by the government’s own status report, it looks very unlikely that it will be able to fulfil its promise.

“A fresh RTI has revealed that the pollution levels in the Ganga river are higher than the levels recorded back in 2014 when the Modi government launched its most ambitious ‘Namami Gange’ initiative,” he told reporters.

He said that in Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi, laboratory tests have found bacterial contamination is now higher than levels recorded in 2014.

Singhvi noted that till date, under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme, a total of 221 projects were sanctioned for various activities such as the treatment of municipal sewage, industrial effluent, river surface cleaning, at a total cost of Rs 22,238.73 crore, of which 58 have been completed, which means only one-fourth of the sanctioned projects are complete.

On the promise made in May 2018 by Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari of ensuring 70 to 80 per cent improvement in its water quality by March 2019, he asked, “With only one-fourth sanctioned projects being completed till August 2018, how can the government achieve this miracle in the next 6-7 months?”

The Congress leader also highlighted how an earlier CAG report has revealed that during 2016-17, the level of pollutants in the river across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal was six to 334 times higher than the prescribed levels.

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