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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Stresses Cooperative Federalism for Ganga Rejuvenation

The meeting was attended by Union Ministers for Jal Shakti, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Urban Affairs, Power, Tourism, Shipping, and the Chief Ministers of UP and Uttarakhand, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, the Vice-Chairman of the Niti Aayog and other senior officials

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the River Ganga rejuvenation should be an example of cooperative federalism and it has been a long-pending challenge.

The Prime Minister made this observation at the first meeting of the National Ganga Council in Kanpur, UP, on Saturday. The meeting was aimed at reinforcing the importance of a Ganga-centric approach in all departments of the states concerned as well as relevant central ministries.

He also asked for formation of a digital dashboard where data from villages and urban bodies would be monitored on a daily basis by the Niti Ayog and the Ministry of Jal Shakti. All districts bordering Ganga should be made a focus area for monitoring efforts under the Namami Gange project, he said.

Modi said a lot had been accomplished since the government took up ‘Namami Gange’ in 2014 as a comprehensive initiative, integrating various government efforts and activities, with the aim of reducing pollution, and conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga.

Notable achievements had been zero waste creation by paper mills and reduction in pollution from tanneries, he said and added, but a lot was required to be done.

River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river.
River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river. Wikimedia Commons

The Prime Minister emphasised that improvement would require full cooperation from the public at large and greater awareness through dissemination of best practices from cities situated along the banks of national rivers.

“For the first time, the central government has made a commitment of Rs 20,000 crore for 2015-20 to the five states through which Ganga passes, to ensure adequate as well as uninterrupted water flow. Rs 7,700 crore has been spent, prominently for construction of new sewage treatment plants,” said a government statement.

Prime Minister also urged for a holistic thinking process where ‘Namami Gange’ would evolved into ‘Arth Ganga’ or a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga.

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“As part of this process, farmers should be encouraged to engage in sustainable agriculture practices, including zero budget farming, planting of fruit trees and building plant nurseries along the banks of Ganga. Priority could be given to women self-help groups and ex-servicemen organisations for these programmes,” it added.

The meeting discussed tapping the hybrid tourism potential of the river basin area for religious and adventure tourism. “The income generated from encouraging eco-tourism and Ganga wildlife conservation and cruise tourism would help generate sustainable income streams for cleaning of Ganga,” the government said.

The meeting was attended by Union Ministers for Jal Shakti, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Urban Affairs, Power, Tourism, Shipping, and the Chief Ministers of UP and Uttarakhand, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, the Vice-Chairman of the Niti Aayog and other senior officials. (IANS)

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Burn Modi’s effigy, But do not Burn Public Property: PM Narendra Modi

Hate Modi but don't burn public properties, says PM Narendra Modi

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Narendra Modi
In his speech, PM Narendra Modi said that people should not burn public property. Wikimedia Commons

In a sharp response to the violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his speech at Ramlila ground on Sunday: “Burn Modi’s effigy, but do not burn public property”.

“Hate me if you want to, but don’t hate India. Burn my effigy, but don’t burn a poor man’s auto-rickshaw,” Modi said during his over-an-hour-long speech.

Modi began his speech with a a new slogan: “Vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta (unity in diversity is India’s essence) to the cheering crowds.

He blamed political propaganda that triggered arson and burning of public properties.

Modi said his government provided land ownership to 40 lakh people of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi. He said over 1,700 colonies have been demarcated and added that the maps for 1,200 colonies are ready.

PM Modi
PM Modi warned the public saying, ” Hate me if you want to but don’t hate India.”. Wikimedia Commons

Attacking the so-called urban naxals, the PM said they were spreading rumours that all Muslims would be sent to detention centres. “These are all lies. Respect education,” he said.

Earlier, Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari welcomed the Prime Minister and thanked him for regularization of the unauthorised colonies in the national capital.

Calling the Prime Minister a ‘messiah’ of the poor, Tiwari said BJP never goes back on its promises.

Tiwari said Delhi also needs a government of the BJP at least for five years. He chanted Modi’s name to draw cheers from the crowd.

Union MInister Prakash Javadekar said, ” Delhi will go to the polls in the next 45 days. I see BJP coming to power with a full majority.”

“What do you want — development or destruction, nationalism or anarchy, anti-national slogans raised in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) or those who would end such activities?” said Javadekar.

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Member of Parliament from New Delhi, Minakshi Lekhi said, “We are not here to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, but to keep the essence of Hindustan.” She accused opposition parties of using students against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Hansraj Hans, another MP from Delhi, showered praise on the PM and sang a song. (IANS)