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Your plan to clean up Ganga may take 200 years: SC to Centre

Dissatisfied with the affidavit submitted by the Centre on Ganga cleaning project, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the NDA government to file a fresh report in three weeks.

The apex court also directed the government to come with time bound proposal to fulfill the mission.

In an affidavit filed in the SC yesterday, the government said that it is committed to clean Ganga and that rejuvenation of the river is a top national priority.

Centre said a consortium of IIT professionals have been entrusted with the task of finalising holistic Ganga River Basin Management and it will submit its report by the end of December this year.

The Centre also stated that it had begun cleaning of Ghats and beautification of river fronts.

The affidavit also said that the government has been actively considering the appropriate modification and restructuring of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) to make it more effective.

Reminding Modi government that cleaning of Ganga was on its poll manifesto, the Supreme Court had asked why urgent steps were not being taken on it.

The court also set a two-week deadline for the Centre to come up with a roadmap for making the 2500-km long river pollution free.

“Don’t give us a vision plan. An artist’s view. It may take 200 years to implement,” said a bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi. “We don’t know if it (cleaning Ganga) will happen in our generation.”

“Can you indicate the stages through which this plan has to move and the time involved in each stage?” asked Justice Thakur as Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar started reading from a 29-page affidavit starting with the 1985 first Ganga Action Plan.

The court wanted to be enlightened by “someone who has a comprehensive view of how Ganga would be made pollution free, nitty-gritty of the plan, and how the milestones can be achieved”.

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