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| Last Updated:23/04/2019

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Rs 7,000 cr to be spent on payment of dues of previous clean Ganga projects

NEW DELHI: A day after government gave a Rs 20,000 crore boost to its flagship 'Namami Gange' programme, the Union water resource minister Uma Bharti on Thursday said around Rs 7,000 crore would be spent on payment of dues of previous clean Ganga projects, which have escalated due to time and cost overruns.

"Only Rs 4,000 crore was spent in past 29 years for cleaning of Ganga. Now, we will have to pay the liabilities (of previous projects) due to cost escalation which will be around Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 crore," said Bharti.

She said various options would be explored for making the old policies more effective to yield better results by involving experts, NGOs and other stakeholders.

Expressing confidence that the government will be able to complete first phase of cleaning of the holy river by October next year, Bharti noted that the Ganga rejuvenation programme is a centrally sponsored scheme which does not required any financial assistance from states.

She also said that the cleaning of Ganga and Yamuna was a joint project and would be successful only if viewed in totality.

"Learning from our past mistakes, we have realized that the problems and challenges in cleaning the two rivers along with some adjoining rivers will have to be taken up jointly," she said.