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Modi inaugurates six projects in Uttarakhand as part of Namami Gange Mission
New Delhi, September 29, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated six mega development projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission through video conference today.
Modi also inaugurated the Ganga Avalokan Museum, the first of its kind on the Ganga at Haridwar. He released a book “Rowing Down the Ganges” and the new logo for the Jal Jeevan Mission.
The Prime Minister unveiled the ‘Margadarshika’ (guidelines) for Gram Panchayats and ‘Paani Samitis’ under Jal Jeevan Mission’ (Guidelines for the Village Panchayats and Water Committees) on the occasion.
Modi said the Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing every rural household in the country with a piped-water connection. The new logo of the Mission will continue to inspire the need to save every drop of water.
Referring to the Margadarshika, the Prime Minister said they were equally important for the Gram Panchayats, people living in rural areas as well as for the Government machinery.
Referring to the book, “Rowing Down the Ganges”, he said it explains in detail about how the Ganga stands as a glowing symbol of India’s culture, faith and heritage. He highlighted the importance of keeping the River Ganga clean as it plays a significant role in sustaining the lives of about 50% of the country’s population from its origin in Uttarakhand till West Bengal where it falls into the Indian Ocean.
He termed the Namami Gange Mission as the largest integrated river conservation mission which not only aims at the cleanliness of River Ganga but also focuses on comprehensive upkeep of the river. He said this new thinking and approach had made the river back to life. Had the old methods been adopted, the situation would have been equally bad today. Those methods lacked public participation and foresight.
He said the government had moved forward with a four-pronged strategy to achieve its objective. It first started laying a network of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to prevent the wastewater from flowing into the Ganga.
Secondly, The STPs were built by keeping in mind the demands for the next 10 - 15 years. The next step was making around 100 big towns/cities and five thousand villages along the River Ganga Open Defecation Free (ODF). Finally, an all-out effort was made to stop the pollution in the tributaries of the river.
Under Namami Gange, projects worth more than Rs 30,000 Crores were either in progress or have been completed. Implementation of these projects resulted in the sewage treatment capacity of Uttarakhand increasing four times in the last six years.
He listed the efforts taken to close more than 130 drains in Uttarakhand from flowing into the Ganga. He referred especially to the Chandreshwar Nagar drain which used to be an eyesore to visitors and rafters at Muni Ki Reti, in Rishikesh. He applauded the closing of the drain and the construction of a four-storied Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Muni Ki Reti.
As with the pilgrims at Prayagraj Kumbh, the visitors to Haridwar Kumbh will also experience the clean and pure status of the River Ganga in Uttarakhand. Modi also referred to the beautification of the hundreds of ghats in the Ganga and the development of a modern riverfront at Haridwar.
Modi said the Ganga Avalokan Museum will be a special attraction to pilgrims and further enhance the understanding of the heritage associated with the Ganga. Apart from ensuring the cleanliness of the river, the Namami Gange was focussing on the development of the economy and environment of the entire Gangetic belt. The Government has made comprehensive plans to promote organic and Ayurvedic farming.
The project will also strengthen the Mission Dolphin which was announced on August 15 this year.
The Prime Minister said the fragmentation of work on an important subject like water into various ministries and departments in the past led to a lack of clear guidelines and coordination. As a result, problems related to irrigation and drinking water continued to persist. He lamented that even after so many years of independence, piped drinking water has not reached more than 15 crore households in the country.
Modi said the Ministry of Jal Shakti was formed to bring in synergy and give impetus to dealing with these challenges. The ministry was now engaged in the mission of ensuring access to piped drinking water to every house in the country.
Today, about one lakh households were being provided piped water supply connections every day under the Jal Jeevan Mission. Drinking water connections have been provided to two crore families of the country in just one year.
He lauded the Uttarakhand Government for providing drinking water connections to more than 50,000 families even during the period of COVID-19 in the last 4-5 months.
The Prime Minister said unlike the previous programmes, Jal Jeevan Mission adopts a bottom to top approach, where the users and Paani Samitis (Water Committees) in the villages envision the whole project from its implementation to maintenance and operation.
The mission has also ensured that at least 50% of the members of the water committee would be women. The Mardarshika Guidelines released today will guide the members of the Water Committee and Gram Panchayats in taking the right decisions, he added.
A special 100-day campaign was being launched on October 2 this year under Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure drinking water connection to every school and Anganwadi in the country. The Prime Minister said the Government has brought in major reforms recently for the farmers, the industrial labour and in the health sector.
Modi lamented that those opposing these reforms were doing so only for the sake of opposing them. Those who ruled the country for decades have never cared about empowering the workers, youth, farmers and women of the country.
These people want the farmers not to sell their produce at a profitable price to anyone and anywhere in the country.
He listed various initiatives of the Government like Jan Dhan bank accounts, Digital India Campaign, International Yoga Day which were opposed by the opposition despite the benefits accrued to the people at large.
It is the same people who opposed modernisation of the Air Force and provision of modern fighter planes to it. The very same people also opposed the One Rank One Pension policy of the Government, whereas the Government already paid dues of over Rs 11,000 Crores in the form of arrears to the pensioners of the armed forces.
These were the very same people who criticised the surgical strike and asked the soldiers to prove that there was a surgical strike. This makes clear to the whole country what their actual intentions are.
With the passage of time, these people who oppose and protest are becoming irrelevant, he added.