The government on Wednesday notified the minimum environmental flows for Ganga that need to be maintained at various locations of the river. The move is aimed at ensuring a minimum amount of flow in the river. Environmental flows are the acceptable flow regimes that are required to maintain a river in the desired environmental state.
In a statement, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said that the notification of e-flow for Ganga would go a long way in ensuring its continuous flow. Gadkari also explained the efforts that the government is making to clean river Ganga.
He said that many projects like ghats and crematoria development, sewage treatment plants and river surface cleaning are in different stages of construction. The minister sought to assure the people that their dream of ‘Aviral and Nirmal’ Ganga will come true once all these projects become operational.
The move to maintain a minimum flow in the river will also ensure that the river has at least the minimum required an environmental flow of water even after the river flow gets diverted by projects for other purposes like irrigation, hydropower, domestic and commercial use.
The new notification will apply to the upper Ganga River Basin starting from originating glaciers to Haridwar and the main stem of Ganga up to Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. The compliance of minimum flow is applicable to all existing, under-construction and future projects. Existing projects which fail to meet the norms will have three years to comply with the norms.
To ensure smooth compliance, the government has asked the concerned project developers or authorities to install automatic data acquisition and data transmission facilities at appropriate locations at project sites within six months.
The draft on Ganga Act will soon be sent to the Cabinet for approval.