National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) — Namami Gange Project
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986. It was set up under Min. of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2011 but now works under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, as per revised allocation business rules of 2014. The estimated budget of the project is about 20,000 Crores.
The Union Cabinet approved the action plan proposed by Centre to spend Rs 20,000 Crores till 2019–2020 on cleaning the river, increasing the budget by four-fold and with 100% central share — a central sector scheme.
The Five Tier Structure
1. National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Honorable Prime Minister of India
2. Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
3. National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG).
4. State Ganga Committees
5. District Ganga Committees in every specified district
The newly created structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.
The aim is to clean Ganga and its tributaries in a comprehensive manner and set up various biodiversity centers, crematoria and other modernizations of Ghats along the banks of river Ganga. With the construction of new sewage treatment plants and Launch River surface cleaning projects, Namami Gange focuses on abatement of pollution with a radical approach to ensure pure water quality and sustainable development.
The program focuses on the coordination of various ministries of the central and state government.
The program includes
· Massive afforestation activities for the conservation of biodiversity.
· Flora and fauna to be considered as the major part of the scheme.
· Effective plans and policies to be carried out in conserving dolphins, turtles, and varieties of fish.
· To arrest the pollution of Ganga River and revive the river.
· To improve the inter-ministerial, and centre-state coordination with increased involvement in the preparation of action plan and increased monitoring at central and state levels.
· Biodiversity conservation, afforestation, and water quality monitoring
· Programs for the conservation of species such as Golden Mahaseer, Dolphins, Ghariyals, Turtles, Otters, etc.
· Increased recharge of the aquifers, reduced erosion, and improved health of river ecosystem.
It has been divided into three types of activities
· Entry-level activities (for immediate visible impact),
· Medium term activities (to be implemented within 5 years of time frame)
· Long-term activities (to be implemented within 10 years).
1. Entry-level activities
· River surface cleaning to address the floating solid wastes;
· Rural sanitation to arrest the pollution (solid & liquid) entering through rural sewage drains and construction of toilets;
· Renovation, modernization, & construction of crematoria that prevents the disposal of unburnt/ partially burnt bodies in the river;
· Repair, modernization & construction of ghats to improvise the human-river connect.
Medium-term activities will focus on arresting the municipal and industrial pollution entering into the river.
Providing adequate flow to the river is envisioned through determination of e-flow,
Increased water-use efficiency, and improved efficiency of surface irrigation
Besides the above, CPCB has formulated an action plan for implementation of zero liquid discharge, water conservation and management practices in water polluting industries to control water pollution of river Ganga and its tributaries.
· Preparation of Guidelines on techno-economic practicability of implementation of Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD)
· Directions issued to all industries discharging into River Ganga for installation of online effluent monitoring systems (OEMS).
· Revised standards notified for Sugar sector vide notification dated 14.01.2016
Also, the Government launched 231 entry level and medium term projects under Namami Gange on 7th July 2016.
· Six cities namely Mathura-Vrindavan, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna and New Delhi have taken up “River Surface and Ghat Cleaning” program under the Namami Gange program.
· Five central public sector units namely WAPCOS, EIL, NBCC, NPCC, EPIL have been recently working on Assessment & Feasibility Study and Entry level activities under Namami Gange Programme in their respective river stretches in Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
· 59 towns have been surveyed so far and 27 pre-feasibility reports received.
· Out of the 1242 ghats, 369 crematoria and 411 VLDs identified so far from the surveys, 191 ghats and 64 Crematoria have been recommended by ESC till date.
· The Government has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) from innovative technology providers for taking up exhibition projects on the in-situ treatment of drains discharging into river Ganga.
The contribution of the Funds:
Restoring the quality of a river with the length and population as large as that of Ganga requires huge investments and time as well. The government increased the budget by four-fold but still not enough to the requirements. Clean Ganga Fund has been established that provides a common stand to all for contributing funds to clean river Ganga.
The Namami Gange program is planned to be completed by 2020.
97 projects have been sanctioned under Namami Gange program in 53 towns at an anticipated project cost of Rs 8588.21 Crore. Out of these 12 projects have been approved exclusively under new components of Namami Gange program at a sanctioned cost of Rs 351.42 Crore. Apart from above, the other initiatives taken include:
· “Namami Gange Programme” has not received any grant / aid from foreign countries.
· It is fully funded by Government of India.
· Scheme for cleaning river Ganga took financial assistance in the form of loans granted by:
o World Bank (WB) amounting to 1 Billion USD and
o Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), amounting to Rs. 496.90 Crore.
· At present, Germany, has committed 3 Million Euro for information, knowledge exchange, capacity building and data management.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has scrutinized the 752 Grossly Polluting Industries out of the identified 764 operating on the bank of River Ganga and issued directions under Section 5 of E (P) Act, 1986 to 573 units found non-compliant during the inspection. Out of these 573 units, 65 units were issued closure directions. Five key industrial sectors namely, distillery, sugar, pulp & paper, tannery and textile contributing ninety percent of inorganic load into the river system were issued directions to achieve water conservation and zero liquid discharge by March 2017.
Local bodies have been directed to establish STPs of adequate capacity and provide underground sewerage system to cover the entire local areas and bridging the generation gap. 118 towns in Ganga basin were directed to treat and utilize sewage for the restoration of water quality of rivers.
· Work on execution of some of the projects under the Namami Gange plan of the Central government’s National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) began in Haridwar
· The municipal corporation officials here took officers of the Aswat Infratech, Delhi, which has been awarded the contract for the work by the NMCG’s to the sites on Tuesday where nullahs carrying the city’s sewage flow into the Ganga.
The majority of us do not realize that used water and filth of our homes can end up in the rivers if not disposed of properly. Sewerage infrastructure is already being constructed by the Government but citizens can reduce the usage of water and generation of waste. Reusing and Recovery of used water and organic waste & plastics can greatly benefit the program.Let us all join hands to save our national river Ganga which is a symbol of our civilization and is an epitome of our culture and heritage! Never in the world, such a complex program has been implemented and will require participation across sectors and each and every citizen of the country.