The Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari chaired a meeting attended by the Union Ministers for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ms Uma Bharti, Information & Broadcasting and Environment & Forest and Climate Change Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar and Tourism Minister Shri Shripada Yasso Naik to plan for development of river Ganga as a tourism destination, means of transport fisheries development and power generation. Briefing Newsmen after the meeting Ms Uma Bharti said that they have decided to meet from time to time to take forward this issue which is a priority of the government and a subject included in their party-manifesto. She said such parameters will be extended for development of other rivers of the country also.
At today’s meeting attended by senior officials of these Ministries also, it was decided that an Inter-Ministerial Committee of Secretaries under the chairmanship of Secretary in the Ministry of Water Resources will be constituted for preparing a plan in about a month’s time. Shri Nitin Gadkari who was also present at the press briefing said that a Cabinet Note on the subject will thereafter be prepared. Shri Gadkari said it is proposed to conduct dredging to provide a width of 45 meters and for a three (3) meters draft (depth) to enable transport of passengers and goods between Varanasi and Hoogly on river Ganga in the first stage of its development and eleven terminals are proposed to be constructed along the banks. He said barrages are proposed to be constructed at every 100 Kms. The Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping said that further facilities for transport of coal, fertilizer, food-grains etc through the river will be developed. Shri Gadkari said a Research Institute on Ganga is proposed to be set up under the HRD ministry possibly at Roorkee and the tourism ministry will take measures to develop tourism along with banks. The Environment Ministry will make the river pristine by taking various measures at Kanpur and other places.