Shri Amit Shah chairs the Flag-in Ceremony of Ganga Aamantran Abhiyan

Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah presided over the Flag-in ceremony of the
Ganga Aamantran Abhiyan, organized under the National Mission for Clean Ganga, in New
Delhi.

“We must not look at Ganga as only a river. It is the pivot of a thousand year old civilization,
which is one of the oldest in the world. Indian civilization has contributed the most to
humanity, whether it is science and technology, culture and language or religious research
and spirituality. Ganga is the symbol of Indian Civilization and is revered in each household
of the country”, said Shri Shah in his address, while calling Ganga as Jeevan Daayini
(Fountainhead of Life) for people settled along its banks. The river has been an inalienable
part of India’s spiritual, cultural and economic history, he added.
The Home Minister expressed pain when he said that though we treat Ganga as our mother,
yet in the past, India did not care for its mother as it should have. He cited the increasing
pressure of human settlements and industrial establishments on its banks over the years and
the resultant pollution of the river water in various forms. This has led to a situation where
the water of the river is so polluted that people think twice before taking a dip in it, in spite of
the river being worshipped in our culture. “Ganga lost its ‘Nirmal, Aviral’ (clean and
uninterrupted) flow due to excessive water use and pollution. It was only after Shri Narendra
Modi became the Prime Minister, that a government in independent India thought about
following a focused approach and acting decisively in the direction to revive and rejuvenate
Ganga. PM Modi has made Namami Gange a peoples’ movement”, Shri Shah said.

Shri Shah said that the Namami Gange project is not limited only to activities like building
infrastructure, preventing water pollution, efficient water management for providing clean
water supply to people or use the river as a navigable waterway. These activities, he said,
would happen anyhow, but the main focus of Namami Gange project is to create a culture of
preserving the river in its ‘Nirmal and Aviral’ form for the future generations and that no one
pollutes it again. This is the vision of PM Modi and only he has the ability to take such bold
decisions and implement the vision on the ground. Shri Shah said that while only about Rs.
4000 crore were allotted for cleaning of Ganga from 1985 to 2014, over Rs. 20,000 crores has
been allocated after 2014. Government of India, along with respective State governments, is
implementing over 300 projects in Ganga basin under Namami Gange for Ganga rejuvenation
and Swachhata Abhiyan, of which 116 projects have been completed. Further, Rs. 30,700
crores have been allocated for Jal Shakti Ministry in General Budget 2020-21., the Home
Minister added.

Shri Shah lauded the efforts of the Jal Shakti Ministry in taking PM’s vision forward and
doing a commendable job in rejuvenating Ganga to a great extent, in a short period of 5
years. He compared these efforts with those from around the world and said that such a big
feat has been achieved in a fraction of time. The Home Minister noted the efficient planning
by the Ministry for water management and maintaining the level of water flow in the river. A
well laid out sewer network is being constructed in 97 towns and over 4400 villages along the
banks of Ganga and bathing ghats are being renovated, among other steps. In the near future,
similar projects would be implemented on the major tributaries of the river. He also
congratulated the team of Ganga Aamantran Abhiyan for conducting a month-long research
expedition and awareness campaign on the river, which would play a big role in rejuvenating
it. Shri Shah laid stress on bringing a behavioural change in the people, especially children,
living along the banks of the river to ensure the success of the Namami Gange project.
Addressing on the occasion, Jal Shakti Minister, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat informed
the gathering about the incessant efforts undertaken by Government of India for rejuvenating
Ganga under the Mission Namami Gange in record time of last 5 years. Citing visible
improvement in Ganga water, he said that today Ganga stands in the top 10 clean rivers in the
world, and the level of oxygen and the dolphin population has steadily increased in the river.
MoS Jal Shakti, Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria was also present
on the occasion, along with other senior officers of the Government of India.-VG/SNC/VM/HS