April 2017 \ Cover Story \ COVER: POLITICAL INTERVIEW
“Within one year we’ll demonstrate results on Ganga cleaning”

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ms Uma Bharti has the task of delivering

In August 2013, an Interim Report for Ganga River Basin was given by 7 IITs in coordination with various premier Indian Universities and Institutions. How have things been taken forward today by your Government since that August 2013 report?

I’ve been associated with the Ganga Abhiyan since 2011. I was in touch with the IITs in Kanpur and Roorkee. At that time I never ever thought that I was one day going to become a Minister for managing Ganga. I came in contact with many of those who had dedicated their lives to saving the Ganga river, and the environment around it. Many of them were drawn by faith. I was meeting everyone those days. I met with the then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, and the then PM Dr Manmohan Singh who initiated the National Mission for Clean Ganga. I met the second Environment Minister in the UPA, Jayanti Natarajan. I used to meet Nitin Gadkari (now Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, and Shipping) and also Sonia Gandhi. Those days I was not in the BJP, but I was working for the Ganga. I can claim that I know Ganga from all sides, from the perspective of spirituality, science, environment, economy. That is also because I’ve done two rounds of the Ganga. One journey started from Gangotri and ended in Ganga Sagar. The other one started in Ganga Sagar and took me back to Gangotri. When I was asked to fight the elections by the Sangh (RSS) from whom I eventually take orders, I said if I do so, the impetus of the Ganga movement will be lost. But they ordered me to fight, at that time I did not know that destiny had other plans, and I’d get the portfolio of Ganga Rejuvenation also.