Despite having allocated Rs 4000 crore for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Namami Gange project, the central government has not spent a single penny towards cleaning the river Ganga in the first quarter of this financial year, says an RTI reply.
The government had announced allocating Rs 6300 crore for this project in 2014-15.
This revelation will come as a huge embarrassment for the BJP led government, which had for the first time created a cabinet post towards this project. Uma Bharti is the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in the Modi cabinet.
Famous as the RTI girl in Lucknow, a class IX student Aishwarya filed an RTI request asking for the detail on government expenditure on this project. The government, in its reply said that they had not spent a single penny towards this project in the first quarter of the new financial year.
‘RTI Girl’ Aiswarya
Aishwarya said that she read a lot of reports in the media about prime minister having allocated Rs 20,000 crore for this project. This prompted her to file an RTI request on May 26 this year.
The RTI reply also reveals that while there were two meetings (Dated 27/10/2014 & 26/03/2015) in 2014-15 to discuss the Ganga Cleaning project, there has been no such meeting in the financial year 2015-16.
The central government in its first budget in July last year had allocated Rs 6300 crore. In May this year, PM Modi chaired a cabinet meeting which gave clearance to Namami Gange project. The government had also made a pledge of spending at least four times the amount spent towards cleaning the Ganga by the previous governments in the last three decades.
Aishwarya says that the new revelation about government’s apathy towards Ganga cleaning project has left her extremely worried. She is now planning to write to PM Modi asking him to study how London’s Thames river, also quite contaminated in the past, “became one of the most cleanest rivers there.”