River Ganga will be cleaned by July 2018, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The return of aquatic life in the river, such as river dolphins, turtles and goldfish, will prove it has been rejuvenated, she said, adding that her ministry has succeeded in its cleansing efforts. Bharti made the statements in response to a series of supplementaries – questions asked in Parliament – during Question Hour, PTI reported.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav suggested that drainage systems of cities be reworked so waste is released in fields as fertiliser, and not into rivers. Responding to this, Bharti said Yadav's son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav should first issue no-objection certificates for two projects in Mathura and Vrindavan and that she has been unable to get an appointment with him.

Bharti also dismissed claims that the Centre was not serious about rejuvenating the Ganga, saying her ministry was now achieving what could not be done in the past 29 years with Rs 4,000 crore spent.