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‘Clean Ganga’ changes course to conservation, tourism, and livelihood

  • Published
    12th Dec, 2022
Context

The Union government’s flagship Namami Gange programme, introduced to improve the sanitation levels in the Ganga river is now geared towards conservation, tourism and providing economic livelihoods.

About

About the Clean Ganga initiative:

  • Background:
    • The Tourism Ministry was tasked to develop a ‘comprehensive plan for tourism circuits along the Ganga River in line with Arth Ganga, organic farming and cultural activities, in December 2019.
    • Arth Ganga was launched with the aim of harnessing the economic potential of the Ganga.
  • Objectives:

The development projects are in line with the Ganga task force meeting in 2019, which aims to;

    • Develop ‘tourism circuits’ and fairs in 75 towns along the main stem of the river;
    • The Agriculture Ministry was taking steps to build organic farming and natural farming corridors;
    • The urban affairs ministry was focused on mapping drains and solid waste management and,
    • The environment ministry was scaling up afforestation and conservation efforts to protect the Gangetic river dolphin.

Namami Gange Programme:

  • About the mission: It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 with a budget outlay of Rs.20,000 Crore to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • Major Objectives:
    • Sewage Treatment Infrastructure
    • River-Front Development
    • River-Surface Cleaning
    • Biodiversity
    • Afforestation
    • Public Awareness
    • Industrial Effluent Monitoring
    • Ganga Gram
  • Administered by: It is being operated under the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Implemented by: The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations i.e. State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).

National Mission for Clean Ganga:

  • It endeavours to deploy the 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, the 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.

Upcoming developments:

  • Every Ganga district was expected to develop a scientific plan and health card for at least 10 wetlands and adopt policies for the reuse of treated water and other by-products. 
  • To reuse treated wastewater of thermal power and,
  • The Rural Development Ministry is looking to rejuvenate small rivers and protect traditional water bodies.
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