Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: Union Law and justice, IT and electronics minister Ravishankar Prasad on Sunday said Centre has started a Rs 12,000 crore Namami Ganga plan to keep the holy river clean near 40 cities in the country. Releasing a book “Trinetra” written by BJP MP from Buxar Ashwini Kumar Chaubey at Bihar Industries Association hall here, Prasad said successive union and state governments ignored rising pollution of the river and allowed construction activities on its banks resulting in Ganga becoming heavily polluted.

The book is recollection of  Chaubey’s memoirs on June 2013 of Kedarnath tragedy in which four family members and three security personnel of Chaubey, the then health minister of Bihar, were killed. Chaubey himself suffered injuries and his family members were virtually starved for a week till they were airlifted to New Delhi.

Ravishankar said wanton destruction of trees   and large  number of  big dams in the Ganga have damaged Himalayan ecology. “Personally, I am against the construction of dams in the river,” the union minister said and claimed he had opposed their construction at appropriate forum. Large number of hotels have come on the Himalayas leading to soil erosion.

Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi of Patna High Court, who had visited the Char Dham in 2012,  also blamed reckless constructions on the Himalayas for the subsequent tragedy in 2013. Kedarnath has been turned into a picnic spot and could not remain a pilgrimage centre. Both the government and public are responsible for the tragedy, he said  and commented the June 2013 tragedy was a warning by the God.

Harendra Pratap, a senior BJP leader, said he had noticed damage to the Himalayas in 1991 itself when in undivided  UP, Kalyan Singh was chief minister and even Dehradun town  faced deluge following bursting of glaciers on the upper riches.

Ramdatt Chakraadhar,RSS chief of Bihar-Jharkhand who presided over the ceremony, said the religious values of the river should be maintained to keep Ganga clean. Leader of opposition in Bihar assembly Prem Kumar suggested people’s participation in government sponsored Namai Gange plan. Justice(retd) Rajendra Prasad of Patna High Court, Prof R K Sinha, head of zoology department of Patna University popular as Dolphin man, also participated in the discussions on duties of commonman towards Ganga .

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