More funds to clean Ganga, drop in wildlife protection

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The annual budget for the Ministry of Environment and Forests saw a 15 percent jump with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee doubling the allocation for cleaning the Ganga river while reducing the funds for wildlife conservation.

The annual allocation for the year 2010-11 has increased by Rs.306 crore from Rs.2,045 crore in 2009-10 to to Rs.2,351 crore.

‘The Mission Clean Ganga 2020 under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) with the objective that no untreated municipal sewage or industrial effluent will be discharged into the national river has already been initiated. I propose to double the allocation for NGRBA in 2010-11 to Rs.500 crore,’ Mukherjee said while presenting the budget in the Lok Sabha.

The funding for education and training of forest officials was more than doubled from Rs.44.92 crore to Rs.96.70 crore.

The wildlife conservation head, having schemes for protection of endangered animals like tigers and dolphins, saw a drop of Rs.28 crore this year.

The national afforestation and eco-development programme also saw a drop of Rs.10 crore this year.

The major drop was reported in prevention of air and water pollution head as budgetary allocation dropped to Rs.63.90 crore from Rs.270.42 crore last year.

While the plan expenditure increased from Rs.40.19 crore to Rs.46.71 crore, the non-plan expenditure which includes employees’ salaries dropped to Rs.17.19 crore from Rs.230.23 crore.

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