Must check atrocities against rivers: Environment minister
New Delhi, March 11 : Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan Monday said there was a need to set up an authority to check "atrocities against rivers".
"It will be my endeavour to recommend to my leadership, just like we have a commission to check atrocities against women, to have a commission to ensure there are no atrocities against the Ganga and all major rivers," Natarajan said replying to a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the pollution of rivers.
The minister said the Ganga action plans and the Yamuna action plans were not totally wasted, and helped in not letting the rivers deteriorate.
"The (Rajya Sabha) members asked where the money went? I would like to tell them that if the Ganga action plans and the Yamuna action plans had not been implemented, the situation would have been much much worse," Natarajan said.
"The population has grown, more industries have come and 90 percent of water is withdrawn (from rivers) for agriculture. You take water from a canal but do not give anything back except drainage, insecticide and toxic affluent. The action plan has at least maintained the situation as this level," she said.
"We can do much better and it has to be a joint endeavour of the central and state governments and local authorities," she said.
The minister also said that untreated sewage was a major source of pollution.