Namami Gange Project Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission

Scheme by Ministry of Water Resources, Environment & Urban Development

: Jan 24, 2019    : Milan Anshuman

Namami Gange Project or Namami Ganga Yojana is an ambitious Union Government Project which integrates the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga river in a comprehensive manner. The project is officially known as Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission project.

The River Ganga is important not only for its cultural and spiritual significance but also because it hosts more than 40% of the country’s population. Addressing the Indian community at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014, the Prime Minister had said, “If we are able to clean it, it will be a huge help for the 40 per cent population of the country. So, cleaning the Ganges is also an economic agenda.”

Aim of Namami Gange Yojana

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This project was launched for holistic sanitation development in villages on the banks of River Ganga. These villages will set the bench mark of cleanliness and integrated effort of development. These will be converted into Ganga Grams by 31st December 2018. The objectives of Ganga Gram Project include solid and liquid waste management, renovation of ponds and water resources, water conservation projects, organic farming, horticulture, and promotion of medicinal plants.

Ganga Action Plan

Ganga Action plan was launched in two phase manner by then PM Mr. Rajiv Gandhi:

  1. Phase I 1985: Covered 25 Ganga towns in three states over Rs 862.59 crore were spent.
  2. Phase II : Covered 59 towns in five states over Rs 505.31 cr were spent.

Separate action plans for rivers- Yamuna, Damodar, Gomti & Mahananda. This Action plan was failure.

Various Initiatives under Namami Gange Project

1. National Ganga Council and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

NMCG is implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (also referred as National Ganga Council). It was established in 2011 as a registered society under Societies Registration Act, 1860.

It has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General (DG), NMCG. Executive Committee is authorized to approve projects under mission up to Rs.1000 crore. Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees. This structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.

2. Turtle Sanctuary Allahabad

The government has approved setting up of a Turtle sanctuary in Allahabad along with River Biodiversity Park at Sangam in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh under Namami Gange programme. The purpose of the Turtle sanctuary is to protect the rich aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from escalating anthropogenic pressures.

3. First Across the River Survey, March, 2017

In March, 2017, the Union Government launched the first ever across-the-river survey in River Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin. The survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve quality of the Ganga’s water.

4. Ganga Gram Project

This project was launched recently for holistic sanitation development in villages on the banks of River Ganga. These villages will set the bench mark of cleanliness and integrated effort of development. These will be converted into Ganga Grams by 31st December 2018. The objectives of Ganga Gram Project include solid and liquid waste management, renovation of ponds and water resources, water conservation projects, organic farming, horticulture, and promotion of medicinal plants.

Salient Features of Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission Project

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  1. The scheme involves expenditure of over Rs. 20 thousand crore for five years from 2014-15. It covers eight states, 47 towns and 12 rivers.
  2. The Ministry of Water Resources is nodal ministry and other ministries working on scheme include Environment, Urban Development, Shiping, Tourism and Rural Development.
  3. One of the stated objectives of the scheme is to involve people living on the river’s banks in this project. Over 1,632 gram panchayats on the banks of Ganga to be made open defecation-free by 2022.
  4. Under the aegis of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) & State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) States and Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj institutions will be involved in this project.
  5. Setting river centric urban planning process to facilitate better citizen connects, through interventions at Ghats and River fronts.
  6. Expansion of coverage of sewerage infrastructure in 118 urban habitations on banks of Ganga.
  7. Enforcement of Ganga specific River Regulatory Zones.
  8. Development of rational agricultural practices & efficient irrigation methods.
  9. Setting Ganga Knowledge Centre.
  10. Checking of river Ganga Pollution through:
    • Treatment of waste water in drains by applying bio-remediation method.
    • Treatment of waste water through in-situ treatment.
    • Treatment of waste water by the use of innovative technologies.
    • Treatment of waste water through municipal sewage & effluent treatment plants.
  11. Introducing immediate measures to arrest inflow of sewage.
  12. Introducing PPP approach for pollution control.
  13. Introduction of 4-battalion of Territorial Army Ganga Eco-Task Force.

Main pillars of the Namami Gange Programme

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Its implementation has been divided into Entry-Level Activities (for immediate visible impact), Medium-Term Activities (to be implemented within 5 years of time frame) and Long-Term Activities (to be implemented within 10 years).

1. Creating Sewerage Treatment Capacity

63 sewerage management projects under implementation in the States of Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.12 new sewerage management Projects Launched in these states.Work is under construction for creating Sewerage capacity of 1187.33 (MLD).Hybrid Annuity PPP Model based two projects has been initiated for Jagjeetpur, Haridwar and Ramanna, Varanasi.

2. Creating River-Front Development

28 River-Front Development projects and 33 Entry level Projects for construction, modernization and renovation of 182 Ghats and 118 crematoria has been initiated.

3. River Surface Cleaning

River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River and its disposal are afoot and pushed into service at 11 locations.

4. Bio-Diversity Conservation

Several Bio-Diversity conservation projects are namely: Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation, Fish and Fishery Conservation in Ganga River, Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Education Programme has been initiated. 5 Bio-Diversity center’s at Dehradun, Narora, Allahabad, Varanasi and Barrackpore has been developed for restoration of identified priority species.

5. Afforestation

Forestry interventions for Ganga through Wildlife Institute of India; Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute and Centre for Environment Education has been initiated.Forestry interventions for Ganga has been executed as per the Detailed Project Report prepared by Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for a period of 5 years (2016-2021) at project cost of Rs.2300 Crores. Work has been commenced in 7 districts of Uttarakahnd for medicinal plants.

6. Public Awareness

A series of activities such as events, workshops, seminars and conferences and numerous IEC activities were organized to make a strong pitch for public outreach and community participation in the programme. Various awareness activities through rallies, campaigns, exhibitions, shram daan, cleanliness drives, competitions, plantation drives and development and distribution of resource materials were organized and for wider publicity the mass mediums such as TV/Radio, print media advertisements, advertorials, featured articles and advertorials were published. Gange Theme song was released widely and played on digital media to enhance the visibility of the programme. NMCG ensured presence at Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube etc.

7. Industrial Effluent Monitoring

Real Time Effluent Monitoring Stations (EMS) has been installed in 572 out of 760 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs). Closure notice have been issued to 135 GPIs so far and others have been given deadlines for compliance to stipulated norms and for installations of online EMS.

National Mission for Clean Ganga, endeavors to deploy best available knowledge and resources across the world for Ganga rejuvenation. Clean Ganga has been a perennial attraction for many international countries that have expertise in river rejuvenation. Countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Israel etc. have shown interest in collaborating with India for Ganga rejuvenation. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed with various Central Ministries viz.- Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Ayush, Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation and Ministry of Agriculture for synergizing the Government schemes.

Reference: GK Today, NMCG

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Milan Anshuman is a travel blogger at Roadway Star. He is passionate about travelling across entire India, specially in undiscovered places, apart from travelling he loves to shoot nature and wildlife beauties, waterfall, mountain series and beaches.

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