A new 'Jal Shakti' Ministry, in which the erstwhile ministries of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation will be merged, has been formed with BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at its helm.
Mr Shekhawat took charge of the ministry today, a day after he was sworn in as a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet.
During the election campaign, PM Modi had promised to form an integrated ministry dealing with water issues.
"All the water related works will be merged under one ministry," Mr Shekhawat said after taking the charge.
The ambit of the ministry will encompass issues ranging from international and inter-states water disputes, the byzantine Namami Gange project, the flagship initiative to clean the Ganges, its tributaries and sub-tributaries and provide clean drinking water.
Under the last government of PM Modi, the project to clean Ganga River was moved from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Ministry of Water Resources. Later, the Namami Gange project was launched.
The minister said that as promised in the party manifesto, the priority will be to provide clean drinking water to everyone. Rebutting the charge that nothing was done under the Namami Gange project, Mr Shekhawat said the Ganga river has been cleaned to a large extent and now the priority will be to clean its tributaries and sub-tributaries.
Rattan Lal Kataria will be the minister of state in the Jal Shakti Ministry.
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