Prime minister assures national heritage status for Ganga

September 20th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday assured giving river Ganga a national heritage status, a statement by the Hardwar-based Ganga Raksha Manch said.The prime minister pledged to revive the glory of the river and look into the issue of pollution in the river along its stretch from upper reaches in Hardwar to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal.

“Ganga is our mother and we will do our best to restore it to its former glory,” the statement quoting the prime minister said.

He also promised to convene a meeting of his council of ministers to discuss the demands raised by the Raksha Manch.

The Ganga Raksha Manch, an umbrella organisation of over 250 seers and religious organisations, was formed in June to crusade against rising pollution in the river by demanding national heritage status for it.

Yoga guru Ramdev is at the forefront of the movement.

The organisation is also protesting industrial projects along its bank and the proposed Ganga Expressway in Uttar Pradesh.

A delegation of Manch leaders met the prime minister Saturday morning with their five-point charter of demands. Heritage status for the river topped the list.

The delegation included Pranav Pandya of the Shantiniketan Gayatri Parivar, Ramesh Bhai Ojha of the All-India Saints’ Samiti, Hansraj Maharaj, Kumbh Akhada Parishad chief Rajendra Kothari, and organisation coordinator Rajendra Pankaj. Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal accompanied them.

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