New Delhi: Members belonging to various parties on Monday demanded immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to save the river Ganga and make it pollution free at the earliest.

"I demand that the Prime Minister should intervene to save the Ganga which is not just a river but our lifeline and part of our culture," Rewati Raman Singh (SP) said in the Lok Sabha.

He was initiating a debate on steps taken by the Government to protect the river Ganga from pollution and the Himalayas from ruthless exploitation.

Singh demanded dismantling of all man-made dams on the Ganga to save it and preserve it for future generations.

He cautioned that it is dangerous to construct dams in Himalayas region considering the properties of the soil. Any construction in eco-zone could be devastating in case of any natural calamity like earthquake and flash flood, he said.

Singh read out a poem written by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on the bad state of the river and said the situation is very grim. Satpal Maharaj (Cong) said, "Their worry is right that Ganga is being polluted. This is a matter of concern."

Yogi Adityanath (BJP) lamented that unplanned development has turned Ganga into a drain with polluted water.

He said despite two phases of Ganga Action Plan and Yamuna Action Plan being implemented, the level of contaminated water flowing into the two rivers has not decreased.

"Had Ganga been a vote bank, it would not have faced the plight it is suffering," he said adding that entire onus on cleaning up rivers should not be placed on state governments.

He said though Ganga Water Basin Authority was set up in 2009, it has only met on three occasions. He said the Authority has not taken any concrete decision so far.

Vijay Bahadur Singh (BSP) suggested that idols should not be immersed in rivers to reduce pollution and asked spiritual leaders to raise voice to support his idea.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) demanded nationalisation of rivers and water to protect it from pollution and unplanned development.

"Nature spares none," he said reminding the House that pollution of rivers would one day hurt the civilisation.

Lalu Prasad (RJD) voiced concern over a number of drains emptying untreated polluted water into the Ganga.

He said the holy river had been polluted leading to dwindling number of Gangetic Dolphins which are found in some stretches of the Ganga in Bihar.

Speaker Meira Kumar said the entire House is one on saving the holy river and hoped Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan will bring the sense of the House to reality.

Ratna De (TMC) said the government must take action against those polluting the Ganga and asked MPs to create awareness in their constituencies on protecting the river.


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