Union Budget 2014-15 has taken cognizance of the substantial amount of money
spent in the conservation and improvement of the Ganga, which has a very special
place in a collective consciousness of this country. However, the efforts are not
yielded desired results because of the lack of concerted efforts by all the stakeholders.
Accordingly, an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called “Namami
Gange” has been proposed to be set up and a sum of Rs. 2,037 crores has been set
aside for this purpose. In addition a sum of Rs. 100 crores has been allocated for
developments of Ghats and beautification of River Fronts at Kedarnath, Haridwar,
Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi in the current financial year.
Accordingly, Namami Gange approaches Ganga Rejuvenation by consolidating
the existing ongoing efforts and planning for a concrete action plan for future.
The interventions at Ghats and River fronts will facilitate better citizen connect
and set the tone for river centric urban planning process.
Recognizing the multi-sectoral, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder
nature of the Ganga Rejuvenation challenge, the key Ministries comprising of (a)
WR, RD&GR, (b) Environment, Forests & Climate Change, (c) Shipping, (d) Tourism,
(e) Urban Development, (f) Drinking Water and Sanitation and Rural Development
have been working together since June, 2014 to arrive at an action plan. The concerned
Ministers have nominated a Group of Secretaries to develop a draft action plan and
have held periodical meetings to review the progress and provide guidance. The Group
of Secretaries submitted its initial report on 21st July, 2014 and after taking
into account the feedback received from the Hon’ble Ministers, the final report
has been submitted on 28th August, 2014.
While the report is being examined in the Ministry, NMCG has been
working in parallel on a draft strategy taking into account all these developments.
As already identified in the report of the GoS, the long-term
vision will emanate from the Ganga River Basin Management Plan being prepared by
the Consortium of 7 IITs, first version of which is likely to be available by the
end of this year.
On a medium term basis, certain interventions both infrastructure
and non-infrastructure need to be introduced to set the tone for implementation
of long term vision as also take up so called “no regret” activities in the interim.
Following are proposed to be taken up under Namami Gange:
(i) Nirmal Dhara- ensuring sustainable municipal sewage management
• Project prioritization in coordination with Ministry of Urban Development.
• Incentive for states to take up projects on Ganga Main-stem by providing an additional
share of central grants for sewerage infrastructure.
• Uniform standards for both MoUD scheme and Namami Gange programme, 10 years mandatory
O&M by the same service provider at par with NGRBA programme and PPP, Mandatory
reuse of treated water
• Expanding coverage of sewerage infrastructure in 118 urban habitations on banks
of Ganga- estimated cost by MoUD is Rs 51000 Crores
(ii) Nirmal Dhara- managing sewage from Rural Areas
• Mo DWS scheme for all Ganga bank Gram Panchayts (1632) free from open defecation
by 2022, at a cost of Rs 1700 Crores as central share
(iii) Nirmal Dhara- managing Industrial discharge
• Making ZLD mandatory
• Rationalized water tariff to encourage reuse
• Real time water quality monitoring
(iv) Aviral Dhara
• Enforcing River Regulatory Zones on Ganga Banks
• Rational agricultural practices, efficient irrigation methods
• Restoration and conservation of wetlands
(v) Ensuring ecological rejuvenation by conservation of aquatic life and biodiversity
(vi) Promotion of Tourism and Shipping in a rational and sustainable manner
(vii) Knowledge Management on Ganga through Ganga Knowledge Centre
However, to control the spread of pollution and to contain it
in manageable limits certain interventions would be necessary in short term. Group
of Secretaries under guidance of Hon’ble Ministers has identified following activities:
i) Scheme for rehabilitation and up-gradation of existing STPs along Ganga
ii) Ensuring 100% sewerage infrastructure in identified town alongside Ganga
iii) In situ sewage treatment in open drains
iv) Support for preparation of DPRs
v) River Front Management for Ghat’s developments in selected cities and towns
vi) Industrial pollution abatement at Kanpur on priority
vii) Action Plan for Char Dham Yatra –Public amenities, waste disposal and sanitation
viii) Capacity building of urban local bodies
ix) Afforestation – Conservation of Flora
x) Conservation of Aquatic life – special attention on Dolphin, Turtles and Ghariyals
xi) Disposal of flowers and other puja material
xii) Ganga Vahini
xiii) GIS data and Spatial Analysis for Ganga basin
xiv) Study of communities depending on Ganga for their traditional livelihood
xv) National Ganga Monitoring Centre
xvi) Special guidelines for sand mining in Ganga
xvii) Assessment of Special Properties of Ganga Water
xviii) Communication and Public Outreach Activities