River Ganga has been the source of physical and spiritual sustenance of Indian civilization for millennia. To the Indian mind, River Ganga is living Goddess
पवनः पवतामस्मि रामः शस्त्रभृतामहम् ।
झषाणां मकरश्चास्मि स्रोतसामस्मि जाह्नवी ॥
I am the wind among things of purification, and among worriors I am Rama, the hero supreme. Of the fishes in the sea I am Makara, the wonderful, and among all rivers the holy Ganges.
Bhagavad Gita; Verse 31, Chapter 10
“Your ancient home, your auspicious friendship, O Heroes, your wealth is on the banks of the Ganga”.
- Rig Veda 3.58.6
The Clean Ganga Fund (CGF) was established in 2015 as a trust under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, to enable Resident Indians, Domestic and Overseas Corporates / Trusts, and NRIs / PIOs to contribute towards the conservation efforts of River Ganga. CGF is administered by a Board of Trustees (BoT) consisting of not less than 4 and not more than 9 Members nominated by the Government of India. The Trust is chaired by the Hon’ble Finance Minister and at present consists of 7 more members, namely, Secretary (Economic Affairs), Secretary (CPV & OIA, Ministry of External Affairs), Secretary (Environment, Forests & Climate Change), Secretary (Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation), Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Chief Secretaries of two Ganga Basin States in rotation. Currently, Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are members of Board of Trustees. Director General, NMCG is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trust.
As on 31.12.2022, the total amount in the Clean Ganga Fund corpus stands at Rs. 651.33 crores. Till date, the Trust has sanctioned 31 projects worth Rs. 360.97 crore from CGF on various projects on development of ghats and crematoria, afforestation, construction and conservation of kunds/ ponds, afforestation and in-situ bioremediation of drains. 14 projects, with completion cost of Rs. 160.87 crore have been completed out of which 5 are Afforestation Projects, 3 In-situ Bioremediation and 6 projects on Ghat works/ Crematoria/ River Front Developments.
Objectives of Clean Ganga Fund
The objective of the fund is to contribute to the national effort of improving the cleanliness of the River Ganga with contributions received from the residents of the country, NRIs/ PIO, and public and private companies. The specific purpose of CGF includes -
i. To fund the work program of Ganga rejuvenation chosen from the Namami Gange program of Government of India.
ii. To coordinate and oversee the implementation of the projects sanctioned.
iii. To accept donations/ contributions from individuals, institutions, and corporates.
iv. To develop any suitable plan for achieving the main objective of improving the cleanliness of the river Ganga.
The indicative list of activities that can be funded out of CGF are-
1. Control of non-point pollution from agricultural runoff, human defecation, cattle wallowing etc.
2. Setting up of waste treatment and disposal plants along the river around the cities.
3. Conservation of the biotic diversity of the river, community-based activities to reduce polluting human interface with the river.
4. Development of public amenities including activities such as ghat redevelopment.
5. R&D and innovative projects for new technology and processes for cleaning Ganga.
6. Independent oversight through intensive monitoring and real time reporting.
7. Any other activity as approved by the Board of Trustees.
The Fund shall not be utilised for activities such as dredging.
Summary of Fund:
As on 31.12.2022, total contributions to CGF, including accumulated interest, are Rs.651.33 crore. The break-up of contribution is given in Table 1.
Table 1: Contributions to CGF
|Sl.No||Donor Category||Amount (Rs. in Cr.)|
|1.||Hon’ble Prime Minister||32.29|
|2.||Public Sector Units (PSUs)||373.06|
|5.||NRIs/ PIOs & IDF-OI*||4.02|
* India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) was set up by the Government of India in 2008 as a not-for-profit Trust to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India.
Chart 1: Contribution to CGF
How to Contribute to CGF
A current account is being operated and maintained by CGF with State Bank of India (SBI), New Delhi Main Branch for receiving donations. Contributions to CGF can be made in following five modes:
1.Cheque / DD drawn in favour of “Clean Ganga Fund”,
2.Electronic mode to CGF’s Account No. 34213740838 with the New Delhi Main Branch of State Bank of India, (SWIFT Code: SBININBB104)
3.Payment gateway (SBI e-pay/SBI Collect also) provided in the portal of CGF with url:www.nmcg.nic.in
4.BHIM / UPI Mobile application. A link to CGF website has also been provided on the website of NMCG at: www.nmcg.nic.in
5.SBI Account Holders can also make donations through SBI ATMs.
Domestic donors to CGF are eligible for 100% Income Tax exemption under Section 80G (1) (i) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Also, contributions to CGF fall within the purview of CSR activities as defined in Schedule VII to the Companies Act, 2013.