"The government intends to cover every household by total sanitation by 2019, the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi," Jaitley said while presenting the Narendra Modi government's maiden budget.

"The need for sanitation is of utmost importance. Although the Central government is providing resources within its means, the task of total sanitation cannot be achieved without the support of all," he added.

The Finance Minister said that riverfronts and ghats at Kedarnath and Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Patna in Bihar and Delhi would undergo development and beautification.

"Riverfronts and ghats are not only places of rich historical heritage but many of these are also sacred. To start this process, I propose to set aside a sum of Rs.100 crore for Ghat development and beautification of river front at Kedarnath, Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi,” the Finance Minister said.

He also said that an NRI fund would be set up to conserve the Ganga, a river considered holy by millions of Hindus.

"NRIs have been a very important contributor to the development process in India. To harness their enthusiasm to contribute towards the conservation of the river Ganga, NRI Fund for Ganga will be set up which will finance special projects," he said.


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