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A parliamentary panel has suggested the government to deploy Territorial Army battalions for conserving river Ganga from Uttarkhand to West Bengal.
In its report on 'Resettlement of Ex-Servicemen' the Parliamenary Standing Committee on Defence, stressed on the need to physically ensure protection of "revered" Ganga on its entire course.
"Nothing could be more efficient than the TA battalions raised for the protection of Ganga be deployed from Shivpuri in Uttarkhand to Ganga Sagar (in West Bengal)," the panel said.
It also suggested that these battalions could be deployed all along with concentration at places like Garh Mukteshwar, Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varansai and Patna.
"The requirement may be 30 battalions approximately. These could be raised in phases, as per priority. They could be trained in de-weeding, de-silting, protection and maintenance of cremation ground, tree-plantation, beautification of area," the panel said.
The Indian Territorial Army (TA) is a second line of defence after the regular Army. It comprises 10-15 per cent of the regular soldiers, approximately 50 per cent of them as ex-servicemen and the balance are recruited from local areas.
The Ecological Task Force (ETF) battalions of the TA have been raised to execute specific environment related projects, with military like culture, by enrolling ex-servicemen.
"By giving them resources, i.E. Plants and machinery these soldiers will do everything and also ensure that no pollutants are discharged into the Ganges and no anti-social activities take place in the area.
"This will ensure true cleaning of Ganges and maintenance of river banks," the report added.