Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday night that Vedanta's Anil Agarwal had taken up the Patna riverfront and the Foresight Group's Ravi Mehrotra had offered to look after the Kanpur section as part of the Indian government's offer to UK businesses to maintain stretches of India's longest river.
Mr. Gadkari also said he hoped to roll out a green replica of London's iconic red double-decker buses in India. '...the Patna riverfront has been taken by Anil Agarwal. He has taken the responsibility. We have a plan but they can change the plan... and for 15 years they are responsible for maintenance and operation (sic),' Gadkari said at the Indian Journalists' Association dinner.
'Mr Ravi Mehrotra is ready to take Kanpur,' said Gadkari, who has the Ganga Rejuvenation portfolio. He said the government was planting 10 crore trees along riverfronts. 'And we are planning to clean the lakes, gardening, landscaping, and things that are important from the tourism point of view,' he said. Gadkari said the idea was to give the responsibility of maintaining Ganga's banks to corporates and industries — 'the big people, those who are having an emotional attachment with Ganga (sic). This is the plan.'
Agarwal grew up in Patna while Mehrotra was brought up in Kanpur.
On Monday, he held a meeting with UK transport secretary Chris Grayling and TfL, the body responsible for the transport network in London, with which India has signed a MoU. 'We are planning double-decker buses in India,' Gadkari told the Indian Journalists' Association (IJA). 'TfL is doing an excellent job in London; on that basis, we plan to start electric buses, biodiesel and bio-CNG buses. Our priority is to make public transport with electricity because we have electricity and coal surplus, so import substitutes, cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous technology is our priority.'
On the river project, he said there were 95 projects to clean the Ganga. 'They will all start by March-end,' he said.