Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal expressed his gratitude to Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh for his efforts in cleaning polluted rivers in the state. Badal appreciated the central minister's efforts through a unanimous resolution adopted by the state assembly on September 30, which thanked Ramesh for his "whole-hearted assistance to the scheme to make the state of Punjab pollution free."
According to Ramesh, his ministry cleared a score of river-cleaning projects in Punjab after he took over in May last year, most of them along the Sutlej River. Seventy per cent of the costs of these projects have been funded by the Centre.
Projects worth Rs 75 crore have been sanctioned for the clearing of the river in the towns of Phillaur, Phagwara, Nawanshahar and Banga, while four other schemes costing Rs 62 crore under the River Conservation Project for the towns Bhulath, Tanda, Mukerian and Dasuya will be given a nod soon, said Ramesh. He said three other projects at Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Moga worth Rs 366 crore are awaiting approval.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests is also examining the clearing of the Buddha nullah in Ludhiana, the estimated cost of which is Rs 22 crore and six other projects on the Ghaggar River at Rajpura, Moonak, Patran, Lehragaga, Khanauri and Dera Bassi.