a) Namami Gange Programme is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 with budget outlay of Rs.20,000 Crore to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
b) Main pillars of the Namami Gange Programme are:-
1. Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure
2. River-Front Development
3. River-Surface Cleaning
6. Public Awareness
7. Industrial Effluent Monitoring
8. Ganga Gram
c) Its implementation has been divided into Entry-Level Activities (for immediate visible impact), Medium-Term Activities (to be implemented within 5 years of time frame) and Long-Term Activities (to be implemented within 10 years).
d) The key achievements under Namami Gange programme are:-
1. Creating Sewerage Treatment Capacity:- 54 sewage management projects are under implementation and 92 sewage projects have been completed in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan. 8 sewage projects are under tendering and 7 new sewage projects launched in these states. Work is under construction for creating a sewerage capacity of 5015.26 (MLD).
2. Creating River-Front Development:- 67 Ghats/Crematoria projects for construction, modernization and renovation of 265 Ghats/Crematoria and Kunds/Ponds have been initiated.
3. River Surface Cleaning:-River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River and its disposal are afoot and pushed into service at 11 locations.
4. Bio-Diversity Conservation:- One of NMCG’s long-term visions for Ganga rejuvenation is to restore viable populations of all endemic and endangered biodiversity of the river, so that they occupy their full historical range and fulfil their role in maintaining the integrity of the Ganga river ecosystems. To address this, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Kolkata & Uttar Pradesh State Forest Department has been awarded projects to develop science - based aquatic species restoration plan for Ganga River by involving multiple stakeholders along with conservation & restoration of aquatic biodiversity. As per the field research conducted by WII, high biodiversity areas have been identified in river Ganga for focused conservation action, rescue & rehabilitation centers have been established for the rescued aquatic biodiversity, cadre of volunteers (Ganga Praharis) have been developed and trained to support conservation actions in the field, floating interpretation centre “Ganga Tarini” and interpretation centre “Ganga Darpan” have been established for developing awareness on biodiversity conservation and Ganga rejuvenation, key ecosystem services of Ganga river have been identified and an assessment framework developed to strengthen the environmental services in the river basin. CIFRI has carried out the assessment of fish and fisheries in the basin to record the available fish species and has mapped it in GIS platform to understand the status and distribution of fishes in Ganga. Tagging procedures has also been initiated to see the migration pattern of identified fish like Hilsa. CIFRI is also conducting ranching and awareness programmes at various locations in the river basin for conservation and restoration of Indian Major Carps (IMC) & Mahseer in Ganga.
5. Afforestation:-One of the major components of Ganga rejuvenation is ‘forestry interventions’ to enhance the productivity and diversity of the forests in head water areas and all along the river and its tributaries. Accordingly, Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for afforestation in an area of 1,34,106 hectares in the Ganga river bank states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs. 2293.73 Crores. The FRI DPR provides for taking up works under four major heads viz. Natural landscape, Agriculture landscape, Urban landscape and Conservation interventions. The main purpose of the proposed forestry interventions is to contribute towards holistic conservation of river Ganga, including improving the flow in the river (Aviralta) by adopting a multi-pronged approach throughout the pre-defined Ganga riverscape. The project of “Forestry Interventions for Ganga” is being implemented by State Forest Departments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal as per the FRI DPR since year 2016-17, for which NMCG is providing financial support to the respective State Forest Departments. Further, the Uttar Pradesh State Forest Department is implementing the ‘Expansion of conservation breeding program of freshwater turtles and Gharial at Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre, Lucknow’ which will help in revival and restoration of Gharials and turtles in the Ganga basin.
6. Public Awareness:- A series of activities such as events, workshops, seminars and conferences and numerous IEC activities were organized to make a strong pitch for public outreach and community participation in the programme. Various awareness activities through rallies, campaigns, exhibitions, shram daan, cleanliness drives, competitions, plantation drives and development and distribution of resource materials were organized and for wider publicity the mass mediums such as TV/Radio, print media advertisements, advertorials, featured articles and advertorials were published. Gange Theme song was released widely and played on digital media to enhance the visibility of the programme. NMCG ensured presence at Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube etc.
7. Industrial Effluent Monitoring:- Real Time Effluent Monitoring Stations (EMS) has been installed in 572 out of 760 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs). Closure notice have been issued to 135 GPIs so far and others have been given deadlines for compliance to stipulated norms and for installations of online EMS.
8. Ganga Gram:- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) identified 1674 Gram Panchayats situated on the bank of River Ganga in 5 State (Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh,Bihar,Jharkhand,West Bengal). Rs. 578 Crores has been released to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) for construction of toilets in 1674 Gram Panchayats of 5 Ganga Basin States. Out of the targeted 15, 27,105 units, MoDWS has completed construction of 8, 53,397 toilets. Consortium of 7 IITs has been engaged in the preparation of Ganga River basin Plan and 65 villages has been adopted by 13 IITs to develop as model villages. UNDP has been engaged as the executing agency for rural sanitation programme and to develop Jharkhand as a model State at an estimated cost of Rs. 127 Crore.
National Mission for Clean Ganga, endeavors to deploy best available knowledge and resources across the world for Ganga rejuvenation. Clean Ganga has been a perennial attraction for many international countries that have expertise in river rejuvenation. Countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Israel etc. have shown interest in collaborating with India for Ganga rejuvenation. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed with various Central Ministries viz.- Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Ayush, Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation and Ministry of Agriculture for synergizing the Government schemes.