Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (File Photo)
Taking a swipe at Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s recent ‘Ganga Yatra’, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday asked whether her boat ride would have been possible if his ministry had not constructed the Allahabad-Varanasi inland waterway.
“If I had not made Allahabad-Varanasi waterway, how could she have travelled? She also drank Ganga water, could she have done the same under the UPA govt? By March 2020, river Ganga will be 100 per cent clean,” Gadkari said when asked about Priyanka’s boat ride.
Gadkari also played down Priyanka’s entry into politics, saying she will not make any impact for the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka undertook a three-day boat ride in Uttar Pradesh as part of her campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The campaign started from Prayag Raj and concluded at Vanarasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The waterway is part of the 5,000 crore National Waterway I, built over a 1,680 km stretch between Varanasi to Haldia by IWAI. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year when he received a container vessel for the first time on the NW-I at Varanasi.
Gadkari further exuded confidence that the Ganga and Yamuna rivers will be 100 per cent clean by March 2020.
“We will show the world that our heritage river and symbol of our rich history and culture is restored. We will overcome. We are also working to clean the Yamuna river. Thirteen projects are already going on for cleaning and with these the sewage water going into the Yamuna will be stopped. A change can be seen in the next one year,” he said.
The central government approved the 'Namami Gange' program in May 2015 as a comprehensive approach to rejuvenate the Ganga and all its tributaries under one umbrella by consolidating existing ongoing efforts.