Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features of the project, About Namami Gange Programme, NGC.
For Mains: Significance of the project and issues associated with the cleaning of river Ganga.
Context: Review meeting of the National Ganga Council was recently held.
About Namami Gange Programme:
It is an umbrella programme which integrates previous and currently ongoing initiatives by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive & better coordinated interventions.
Implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterparts—State Programme Management Groups.
National Ganga Council (NGC):
Created in October 2016 under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016, dissolving the National Ganga River Basin Authority.
Headed by the Prime Minister.
It replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
NGC would have on board the chief ministers of five Ganga basin states—Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal—besides several Union ministers and it was supposed to meet once every year.
Main Pillars of the Namami Gange Programme are:
- Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure
- River-Surface Cleaning
- Industrial Effluent Monitoring
- River-Front Development
- Public Awareness
- Ganga Gram
Value addition for Mains:
Why we need “Namami Gange” programme?
- River Ganga has significant economic, environmental and cultural value in India.
- Rising in the Himalayas and flowing to the Bay of Bengal, the river traverses a course of more than 2,500 km through the plains of north and eastern India.
- The Ganga basin – which also extends into parts of Nepal, China and Bangladesh – accounts for 26 per cent of India’s landmass.
- The Ganga also serves as one of India’s holiest rivers whose cultural and spiritual significance transcends the boundaries of the basin.
If we are able to clean it, it will be a huge help for the 40 per cent population of the country.
What are the pollution threats to Ganga?
- Rapidly increasing population, rising standards of living and exponential growth of industrialization and urbanization have exposed water resources to various forms of degradation.
- The deterioration in the water quality of Ganga impacts the people immediately.
- Ganga has become unfit even for bathing during lean seasons.
- The impacts of infrastructural projects in the upper reaches of the river Ganga raise issues.
- Sewage treatment.
- Restoring the flow.
- Sludge control.
- Cost overruns.
- Governance glitches.
Sources: the hindu.