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Seven years on ‘Mission to clean the Ganga’

  • Published
    2nd Sep, 2023

In seven years of ‘Clean Ganga Mission’, only 20% of sewage in major states along the Ganga is treated which is estimated to increase to 60% by 2026.


About National Mission to Clean Ganga (NMCG):

  • Nodal body: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is implemented by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga also known as the National Ganga Council.
  • Registered as: This mission was established on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 as a registered society.
  • It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) whichwas constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986.
  • NGRBA has since been dissolvedwith effect from the 7th October 2016.
  • Vision:
    • The Vision for Ganga Rejuvenation constitutes restoring the wholesomeness of the river definedin terms of ensuring “AviralDhara” (Continuous Flow”), “NirmalDhara” (“UnpollutedFlow”), for Geologic and ecological integrity.
  • Objectives:
    • The mission incorporates rehabilitating and boosting the existing STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) and instant short-term steps to curb pollution at exit points on the riverfront in order to check the inflow of sewage.
    • To maintain the continuity of the water flow without changing the natural season variations.
    • To restore and maintain the surface flow and groundwater.
    • To regenerate and maintain the natural vegetation of the area.
    • To conserve and regenerate the aquatic biodiversity as well as the riparian biodiversity of the river Ganga basin.
    • To allow participation of the public in the process of protection, rejuvenation and management of the river.

Initiatives related to Ganga:

  • NamamiGangeProgramme: It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
  • The National River Conservation Plan is an extension to the Ganga Action Plan. It aims at cleaning the Ganga River under Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
  • National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA): It was formed by the Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Ganga was declared as the ‘National River’ of India in 2008.
  • Clean Ganga Fund: In 2014, it was formed for cleaning up of the Ganga, setting up of waste treatment plants, and conservation of biotic diversity of the river.
  • Bhuvan-Ganga Web App: It ensures involvement of the public in monitoring of pollution entering into the river Ganga.
  • Arth Ganga was launched with the aim of harnessing the economic potential of the Ganga.

Ganga River System:

  • The Ganges River originates in the Himalaya Mountains at Gomukh, the terminus of the Gongotri Glacier.
  • When the ice of this glacier melts, it forms the clear waters of the Bhagirathi River.
  • As the Bhagirathi River flows down the Himalayas, it joins the Alaknanda River, officially forming the Ganges River.
  • The Ganges River Basin is sometimes considered part of a larger river basin consisting of the nearby Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.
  • Known as the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) River Basin, it is one of the largest river systems in the world.

Key facts:

  • It crosses five states of India namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Major tributaries of River Ganga are Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Damodar, Kosi and Kali-EastFlowing through major cities/towns like Srinagar, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Roorkee (in Uttarakhand), Bijnor, Narora, Kannauj, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Mirzapur (in Uttar Pradesh), Patna, Bhagalpur (in Bihar) and Beharampore, Serampore,Howrah and Kolkata (in West Bengal).
  • It drains into the Bay of Bengal.
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