An action plan for the clean-up of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers may be formulated by the end of this year after consultation with stakeholders, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Monday. In his reply to a question on when the government proposes to formulate an action plan for cleaning the Ganga and Yamuna, Minister of State for Water Resources, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, said that it is expected to be drawn up by December of this year following consultations with stakeholders.
Since the inception of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), 76 schemes at a total cost of Rs 5,004.19 crore have been sanctioned in 48 towns in the states through which the Ganga passes. "Against this, Rs 1,229.87 crore has been released by the Centre, including the matching share of the states so far, and a total expenditure of Rs 838.76 crore has been incurred till March 2014 for implementation of the projects," Gangwar said.
A Memorandum of Agreement for 10 years was signed in 2010 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and a consortium of seven IITs for preparation of a comprehensive Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP). The National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, BHU, and various universities and research institutes are also involved in the GRBMP, he added. "An interim report has been submitted, which is being sent to different ministries, departments and other stakeholders for comments," the minister further stated.