The UP government has started work to stop the flow of garbage in the river Ganga. (File)
A massive work plan has been initiated to ensure that garbage and waste stop flowing into the River Ganga before the 2019 'Ardhkumbh', UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said today.
The river flows through 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
"Before the 2019 Prayag (Allahabad) Ardhkumbh not even a single drain or garbage will flow into the River Ganga...a large scale work plan has got underway to ensure this," the chief minister said at a programme organised in Lucknow by the Isha Foundation.
"A work plan worth Rs 30,000 crore has been started under the Prime Minister's 'namami Gange' project to make Ganga and its tributaries 'aviral, nirmal' (ever flowing and clean)", Mr Adityanath said.
"In the coming two years no one will be allowed to release garbage or waste in the river and treatment plants will be set up at different places to first treat the discharge before it is allowed to flow into the river," he said.
"In the first phase we have resolved to make all villages falling on the river's banks open defecation free (ODF) and have also succeeded in it," the chief minister said in the presence of founder of the Isha Foundation, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev.
Referring to Sadguru's 'Save the Rivers' campaign, the chief minister said that it was not just a campaign or a slogan but an attempt to save the human creation.
A vast plantation drive has also been launched in the areas falling on the banks of the River Ganga.
"I myself had gone to Garh Mukteshwar for it...all ministers, MPs, MLAs took part at different places...officials of all departments, administration took part. We have planted six crore saplings in the state...this work was been done in different phases," he said.
The chief minister said the practice of planting eucalyptus has been stopped and instead people are being encouraged to plant peepul, mango, bargad, neem, bel or medicinal plants or plants having religious significance.
Hailing the 'Rally for Rivers' programme, he said the new UP government has already started implementing programmes aimed at this. "The government has started the project to treat the waste flowing into Gomti in Lucknow so as to save the river, the project for it has already started," he added.