The Clean Ganga Fund launched by the NDA government as part of its ambitious mission to clean the river has received more than Rs 132 crore in donations.

“An amount of Rs 132,43,81,681 has been received in Clean Ganga Fund from residents, NRIs, public sector undertakings and private cooperatives till June 30,” Minister of State for Water Resources Vijay Goel said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

b’Representational image | Source: Reuters’

A committee was formed including secretaries of Ministries of Water Resources and Environment, Forest and Climate Change will be members of the panel, besides Central Water and Power Research Station (Pune) director Mukesh Sinha.

The government has identified 110 cities where untreated sewage was being released into rivers or lakes and taking necessary steps for clean up.

“Private companies can contribute their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to the Clean Ganga Fund, which is a notified CSR activity…They can also donate to CGF from their general funds to avail tax benefit under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961,” Goel said in a reply to another question.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved establishment of CGF, to be used for projects planned under ambitious Namami Gange programme, on September 4, 2014.