Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Thursday that the people not only reposed their faith in the river Ganga, but the economy was also linked to the Holy river.
Flagging off two ‘Ganga Raths’ on Thursday, Yogi said, “With the prime minister’s inspiration, the state government is starting ‘Ganga Yatra’’. The Ganga is the symbol of the civilization of India. Civilizations have developed on its bank and traditions have been taken forward. It is our responsibility to make people aware of the cleanliness of Ganga.”
On the occasion, the chief minister also said that Ganga was a symbol of faith and every Indian considered it a part of heritage and tradition since Sanatan period.
Recounting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in Varanasi in 2014 that he had come there for Maa Ganga, Yogi said that the prime minister vindicated his faith on ‘Ganga Maa’ by implementing the Namami Gange project in the country.
The chief minister said that river Ganga covered 2,525 kilometres in five states, of which, 1,025 kilometres were in Uttar Pradesh itself and hence the responsibility of its cleanliness rested with the people of the state.
“For this, the state government has taken several steps to make Ganga clean and ever-flowing,” he said.
The chief minister pointed out that 14 crore litres of sewage was falling in Ganga through Sisamau’s drain in Kanpur and this had been going on for 128 years.
“Due to Namami Gange project, today, not a single drop of sewage is flowing into the river. There was a time when not a single aquatic animal was left after Jajmau drain in Kanpur. Due to Namami Gange project today, big fishes are again in the river,” he said.
Yogi further said that due to Ganga and its tributaries, northern India had developed into the most fertile land of the country.
“Sufficient water is available from Ganga for 40 percent of the land area of the country,” he said.
The chief minister said that the government had decided that 21 municipal bodies and 1,038 gram panchayats through which the Ganga Yatra would pass would adopt organic farming in the coming years.
“Ganga Park, Ganga Talab and Ganga Maidan will be constructed on the banks of the river Ganga,” he said.
“Without the cleanliness of river Ganga , a grand Kumbh Mela was not possible in Prayagraj last year. During Kumbh, around 25 crore devotees took bath at the Sangam,” he said.
Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, Jal Shakti Minister Mahendra Singh, Sugarcane Minister Suresh Rana, Tourism and Culture
Minister Neelkanth Tiwari, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Baldev Singh Aulakh, Chief Secretary RK Tiwari, Additional Chief Secretary (Home)
Awanish Kumar Awasthi and DGP OP Singh were also present in the ceremony.
Of the two raths flagged off on Thursday, one will go to Bijnor where Ganga enters Uttar Pradesh, while the other will go to Ballia from where the river exits into Bihar.
Yogi will participate in the Ganga Yatra from Bijnor on January 27 and travel through from Muzaffarnagar to Hastinapur. The following day, he will travel from Hastinapur to Hapur to Garh Mukteshwar to Amroha and then Bulandshahr.
Later, on January 29, the chief minister will go to Aligarh, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur and reach Farrukhabad in the evening.
The following day, the Ganga Yatra will head to Kanpur through Kannauj and Hardoi.
On the other hand, the Ganga Yatra from Ballia will travel to Prayagraj, Mirzapur, Pratapgarh, Unnao and culminate in Kanpur.
Besides participating in Ganga ‘aarti’, Yogi will address a public meeting and visit villages near the river to review development projects.
The chief minister is likely to make a night halt at Hastinapur