Namami Gange programme, or the National Mission for Clean Ganga, is a project that has been a dream of the Narendra Modi government. With the launch of 231 projects, under the Namami Gange programme, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti has taken an important step towards a fullfilling a key promise of the government.
The project aims to reduce pollution and ensure rejuvenation of the river Ganga. The idea is also to maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.
Today’s projects involve modernization and redevelopment of ghats and crematoriums, development of sewage infrastructure and treatment, afforestation, tree plantation (medicinal plants), pilot drain project, interceptor drain project, trash skimmers and conservation of biodiversity.
We take a look at what all is proposed to be taken up under Namami Gange programme, as published on the National Mission for Clean Ganga website:
(i) Nirmal Dhara- ensuring sustainable municipal sewage management
- Project prioritization in coordination with Ministry of Urban Development.
- Incentive for states to take up projects on Ganga Main-stem by providing an additional share of central grants for sewerage infrastructure.
- Uniform standards for both MoUD scheme and Namami Gange programme, 10 years mandatory O&M by the same service provider at par with NGRBA programme and PPP, Mandatory reuse of treated water
- Expanding coverage of sewerage infrastructure in 118 urban habitations on banks of Ganga- estimated cost by MoUD is Rs 51000 crore
(ii) Nirmal Dhara- managing sewage from Rural Areas
Mo DWS scheme for all Ganga bank Gram Panchayts (1632) free from open defecation by 2022, at a cost of Rs 1700 crore as central share
(iii) Nirmal Dhara- managing Industrial discharge
- Making ZLD mandatory
- Rationalized water tariff to encourage reuse
- Real time water quality monitoring
(iv) Aviral Dhara
- Enforcing River Regulatory Zones on Ganga Banks
- Rational agricultural practices, efficient irrigation methods
- Restoration and conservation of wetlands
(v) Ensuring ecological rejuvenation by conservation of aquatic life and biodiversity
(vi) Promotion of Tourism and Shipping in a rational and sustainable manner
(vii) Knowledge Management on Ganga through Ganga Knowledge Centre leading to a Ganga University of River Sciences
However, to control the spread of pollution and to contain it in manageable limits certain interventions would be necessary in short term. Group of Secretaries under guidance of Hon’ble Ministers has identified following activities:
i) Scheme for rehabilitation and up-gradation of existing STPs along Ganga
ii) Ensuring 100% sewerage infrastructure in identified town alongside Ganga
iii) In situ sewage treatment in open drains
iv) Support for preparation of DPRs
v) River Front Management for Ghat’s developments in selected cities and towns
vi) Industrial pollution abatement at Kanpur on priority
vii) Action Plan for Char Dham Yatra –Public amenities, waste disposal and sanitation
viii) Capacity building of urban local bodies
ix) Afforestation – Conservation of Flora
x) Conservation of Aquatic life – special attention on Dolphin, Turtles and Ghariyals etc.
xi) Disposal of flowers and other puja material
xii) Ganga Vahini
xiii) GIS data and Spatial Analysis for Ganga basin
xiv) Study of communities depending on Ganga for their traditional livelihood
xv) National Ganga Monitoring Centre
xvi) Special guidelines for sand mining in Ganga
xvii) Assessment of Special Properties of Ganga Water
xviii) Communication and Public Outreach Activities