Varanasi, Dec 29 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused previous governments of not being able to rejuvenate the Ganga despite spending thousands of crore of rupees and said to keep the river ‘nirmal’ (clean), the intentions also needed to be clean. Also Read - Man Shot Dead Over Rs 200 at Crowded Market in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh

He said meaningful results are achieved when the government works with transparency and honesty. Also Read - First Case Registered in Bareilly Under 'Love Jihad' Law

“For maintaining the ‘nirmaltaa’ (cleanliness) of the Ganga, the power of money is not enough, clean intentions are also needed. We, with full honesty and clean intentions, have undertaken a campaign to clean river Ganga,” Modi said while inaugurating the ‘One District, One Product’ summit here. Also Read - UP Governor Gives Assent to Ordinance Against Forcible Religious Conversions

“When the government works with transparency, honesty and public partnership, then the results are definitely meaningful,” he said.

“Otherwise, you all have been witness to a number of schemes from Ganga Action Plan to Ganga Basin Authority being made,” he added.

Citing a recent report on pollution in the Ganga, Modi said, “There has been a drop in pollution levels in river Ganga. As ‘Namami Gange’ campaign is moving ahead, the target of a clean and free flowing Ganga is becoming more clear. Aquatic animals including fish have started returning to the Ganga.” The prime minister asserted that the Centre is committed to strengthening the ‘Make In India’ initiative and the Uttar Pradesh government’s ‘One District, One Product’ scheme is an extension of it.

“UP is a hub of MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). After agriculture, this sector provides the maximum employment. Here, this sector is a part of the tradition and to ensure that the tradition remains intact, the Centre and state government are making every possible effort,” Modi said.

Speaking about the various projects unveiled, he said they all have a common theme — ease of living and ease of doing business.

Modi said in Uttar Pradesh, the small and medium sector enterprises have been a part of traditions.

In this context, he mentioned the carpet industry of Bhadohi, the sports goods industry of Meerut, and the silk industry of Varanasi, among others. He described Varanasi and Purvanchal as hubs of handicrafts and art.

Modi said 10 products of Varanasi and nearby regions have received Geographical Indication tags.

He said the ‘One District, One Product’ scheme will convert these expressions of art into profitable businesses by ensuring good machines, training and marketing support.

He added that he had been informed that loans worth Rs 2,000 crore are likely to be disbursed during this event.

Modi said the emphasis in this scheme is to provide a holistic solution for the makers of these products. The Deendayal Hastkala Sankul (Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum) is now fulfilling its ultimate objective.

He said the Centre is committed to empowering the MSMEs and by making access to credit easier for them, ease of doing business is also being ensured.

Modi, who represents Varanasi constituency in Lok Sabha, said transformation was now visible in the city.

He said efforts were underway to provide modern amenities and promote industries in eastern Uttar Pradesh, of which Varanasi is a part, through liquified natural gas (LNG).

One of the benefits is that cooking gas which is now becoming available to thousands of homes in Varanasi, he added.

Modi also expressed confidence that the upcoming ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ in Varanasi would be a success.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.