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A new ‘Jal Shakti’ Ministry, in which the erstwhile Ministries of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation will be merged, has been formed with Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at its helm.

Mr. Shekhawat took charge of the Ministry on Friday, a day after he was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister. During the election campaign, Mr. Modi had promised to form an integrated Ministry dealing with water issues.

The remit of the Ministry will encompass issues ranging from international and inter-State water disputes, the Namami Gange project, the flagship initiative to clean the Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries and the provision of clean drinking water.

In the first Modi government, the project to clean the Ganga was moved from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Ministry of Water Resources.

With a greater push and larger monetary allocation, the Namami Gange project was launched.

Mr. Shekhawat said that the priority would be to provide clean drinking water to everyone.

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