The Centre on Friday merged the ministries of water resources, and drinking water and sanitation to create the Jal Shakti ministry, PTI reported. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will head the ministry while Ram Lal Kataria will be the minister of state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised during the Lok Sabha election campaign to create an integrated ministry to deal with matters related to water.

“All the water related works will be merged under one ministry,” Shekhawat said after taking charge on Friday. He said that as per the BJP manifesto, the ministry’s priority will be to provide clean drinking water to everyone. The ministry will also address international and inter-states water disputes and the Namami Gange project, an initiative to clean the Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries.

Shekhawat, who spoke to reporters, dismissed the claim that nothing had been achieved in the Namami Gange project between 2014 and 2019. He claimed the Ganga has been cleaned to a large extent.

Modi and 57 Cabinet ministers took oath at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday evening.