Crores went to the dust
An RTI query shows that in spite of spending Rs 2,958 crore out of the allocated Rs. 3,703 crore for the span of two years, very little has been done to ameliorate the holy river. The statistics have come up after an RTI was posed by Aishwarya Sharma, a Class 10 student from Lucknow to PM’s Office. It revealed that the “Namami-Ganga” project remains largely on papers.
Sharma had raised several questions in the RTI, which included details of the number of meetings chaired by the PM on this sensitive matter and the provision of budget expenses made so far. The ministry said that Rs 2,137 crore was allocated for the national mission of Ganga cleaning in 2014-15. This was cut by Rs 84 crore to Rs 2,053 crore. But the union government, despite the hype, spent only Rs 326 crore, leaving more than Rs 1,700 crore unspent in 2014-15. In 2015-16, without seeing any progress, the ministry slashed the budgetary allocation from proposed Rs 2,750 crore to Rs 1,650 crore.
Prime Minister should issue a statement on this
According to Aishwarya, the government does not have any details about the expenses so far of the allocated Rs 2,500 crore in 2016-17 fiscal. In the next five years, Modi government has promised to spend Rs 20,000 crore more for this project. Only future can tell how much it will be able to rejuvenate the holy Ganga.