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Only Rs1,958 crore of Rs3,703 spend on Ganga clean-up
It is not just the opposition which is out to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emotive connect with the river Ganga. Statistics show that very little has been done in the past two years -- in spite of spending Rs 1,958 crore of the Rs 3,703 crore allocated -- to improve the condition of the holy river.
 
The response to a Right to Information (RTI) poser by an Aishwarya Sharma, a Class 10 student from the city, to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has revealed that the much-hyped 'Namami Gange' programme is largely on paper, much like the previous schemes declared in the past 30 years.
 
In her RTI question on May 9, the 14-year-old Lucknow girl has sought answers to seven queries, which included details of the number of meetings the Prime Minister chaired on the sensitive issue, budgetary provisions and the expenses so far. 
 
Subroto Hazra, the central public information officer with the PMO, had forwarded the query to the union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry for a response.
 
K.K. Sapra of the ministry responded on July 4 and the answers explicitly show that Modi's 'Ganga Maiya ne bullaya hai' (Mother Ganga has summoned me) credo, which endeared Modi to the masses, specially in Varanasi, was little beyond an attempt to milk sentiments and votes.
 
The ministry said Rs2,137 crore was allocated for the national mission of Ganga cleaning in 2014-15. This was cut by Rs84 crore to Rs 2,053 crore. But the union government, despite the hype, spent only Rs326 crore, leaving more than Rs1,700 crore unspent.
 
The situation did not change much in 2015-16 either and, in fact, the union government slashed the budgetary allocation from the proposed Rs2,750 crore to Rs1,650 crore. Of the amended budget, Rs18 crore was unspent in 2015-16.
 
"This is completely baffling, keeping in mind the high-decibel campaign by Prime Minister Modi himself on cleaning the Ganga," an upset Aishwarya told IANS.
 
For the current 2016-17 fiscal, the student said the union government does not have any details of the expenses so far of the Rs 2,500 crore allocated.
 
Aishwarya also sought to know from "Modi uncle" why he has not been serious on the crucial project as is evident by the fact that of the three meetings of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), the Prime Minister chaired only one on March 26, 2015. The other two meetings -- on October 27, 2014 and July 4, 2016 -- were chaired by Union Minister Uma Bharati.
 
In contrast, Modi's predecessor Manmohan Singh had chaired all the three meetings of the NGRBA held in his second tenure -- on October 5, 2009, November 1, 2010 and April 17, 2012.
 
"I can just hope that Modi uncle delivers on this front as we all have high expectations from him," Aishwarya said.
 
Now, only time will tell whether the Modi government, which has promised to spend Rs20,000 crore over the next five years on Ganga rejuvenation and cleaning, delivers on its promise. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

User

COMMENTS

I C Gupta

4 months ago

It not Rs 1958 crores but Rs 2958 crores spent without any results

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

I expect PMOffice to give a big kick to the minster in question...Dreging shd move up in a few months.

Ayush Sharma

4 months ago

Do i call it a "Ganga Ji Scam"

Ajay Agarwal

4 months ago

I am from varanasi the picture use by author is not from varanasi dnt make us fool...Author is pure aapiya.

Amit Jain

4 months ago

The author has done well not to hide his anti-Modi feelings. Disappointed to read such trash on Moneylife. Zilch understanding of how the Govt. functions. The headline itself is a lie not supported by the text below.

REPLY

Ajay Agarwal

In Reply to Amit Jain 4 months ago

The picture showing in news is not from varanasi.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

We have FM who talks now of govt being involved in minimal activities.What has he done about disivestment.Time to seriously walk the talk first Arun

Gupta

4 months ago

While funding and spending is understood, nothing in this article justifies the conclusion made in the headline "without visible results". Moreover it accuses the government of spending so much while also criticizing it for not using all the allocated funds! Wonder if this is typical hype that journalists like to create out of nothing or simply an absurd desperation to create news out of a 14 year old's RTI

87% of Indian-worker exploitation complaints from Gulf nations
As thousands of laid-off Indian workers in Saudi Arabia were said to be without food, 87 per cent of complaints received from Indian workers at Indian missions across nine countries were from six Gulf countries, with nearly half of those from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, according to government data.
 
 
Indian missions across nine countries received 55,119 complaints of ill-treatment and “exploitation” of Indian workers over the last three years, according to data tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
Of these, the Indian mission in Qatar received 13,624 complaints, followed by missions in Saudi Arabia (11,195), Kuwait (11,103) and Malaysia (6,346).
 
On July 30, 2016, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj acknowledged the hunger facing laid-off Indian workers in Saudi Arabia.
 
"The number of Indian workers facing food crisis in Saudi Arabia is over Ten Thousand. It is not 800 as is being reported," she tweeted.
 
Sushma Swaraj promised, through a series of tweets, “that no Indian worker rendered unemployed in Saudi Arabia will go without food”. 
 
The complaints received from Indian workers include “non-payment/delayed payment or underpayment of salaries, long working hours, inadequate living conditions, physical harassment, non-renewal of visa and labour card on time, refusal to pay for medical treatment, denial of leave and air-ticket to home town on completion of contract period, forcible custody of passport and visa and refusal of leave or exit/re-entry permits”, the ministry said in its reply to parliament.
 
No specific complaint of sexual abuse was reported, the ministry added.
 
Twenty-four per cent of Indians jailed aboard in Saudi prisons
 
Saudi Arabia has more Indians in prison than any other country: 1,697 of 7,213, according to another Lok Sabha reply.
 
Saudi Arabia is followed by United Arab Emirates (1,143). The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries -- Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain -- account for half of all Indians jailed abroad and 87 per cent of mis-treatment complaints received from Indian workers.
 
The Indian mission in Saudi Arabia registered 1,676 complaints during the first half of 2016.
 
Poor working conditions put an Indian living in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait at 10 times the risk of death compared to an Indian living in the US, IndiaSpend reported in August 2015.
 
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Kuwait report between 65 and 78 deaths per 100,000 Indian workers.
 
An average of 69 Indians die every year in the six Gulf countries. The corresponding figure for the rest of the world is 26.5, almost 60 per cent lower.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

User

COMMENTS

Anil Bhatta

4 months ago

The Government has more responsibility than providing food and getting these guys back home. These are the poorest and uneducated of the masses who are lured and exploited and they need to be protected.

Its probably time the Govt put a check by not allowing such companies or countries to recruit form India.

The reality is that there is demand for manual labour - maids, sweepers, construction labour etc. and these countries don't have any or the locals refuse to work. Today there is uncontrolled supply which needs to be checked and force the employers and countries to behave.

Param

4 months ago

with due respect to those who are in the middle of the crisis, i don't think we can/should offer anything more than sympathy. everyone knows the risk/reward curve of stepping outside of comfort zone. i can understand indian embassy stepping in to help recover a passport held at ransom, but providing food to someone abroad who is anyway better off than the poor & downtrodden within india does not make any sense - at least to me! when their 'dubai money' was used to buy land & gold back home in the past, why can't their families sell a bit of it to get them back home?

REPLY

Anil Bhatta

In Reply to Param 4 months ago

These are the lowest rung of workers viz. sweepers, construction labour etc. - uneducated and exploited both at home and elsewhere - not some CXO or a top honcho who can understand risk rewards.
They do not have a pisa in their pocket - it is these guys who need to be helped with and not the highly paid executive who looses a job;
I think as a society, we owe it to our fellow countrymen

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