On September 29, the Prime Minister announced six mega projects in Uttarakhand, to be begun under the Namami Gange Mission. Namami Gange was launched in 2014 as an Integrated Conservation Programme by the Union government to accomplish the tasks of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the National River of India, Ganga. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on 12 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. The Act envisages a five tier structure at national, state and district levels for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous and adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate river Ganga.
As a part of the mission several successful tasks have already been accomplished. Firstly, 63 sewerage management projects are under implementation in the States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Moreover, 12 new sewerage management projects have been launched in these states and construction for creating sewerage capacity of 1187.33 MLD is underway. Secondly, 28 river-front development projects and 33 entry level projects for construction, modernisation and renovation of 182 ghats and 118 crematoria has been initiated. Thirdly, river surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the ghats and rivers has begun. Also, several bio-diversity conservation projects have been launched as well as an afforestation drive has been initiated through the Wildlife Institute of India.
Most of these projects that have been launched, have been done keeping in mind the people living on the banks of the river, to attain sustainable results. Drawing from the lesson learned from the previous implementations, the programme also focuses on involving the States and grassroots level institutions such as urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions in implementation. The need for a successful mission is crucial to sustaining India’s ecology. Not only does river Ganga have immense economic, environmental and cultural significance in India, it also accounts for 26% of India’s landmass, traversing a course of 2500kms through the northern plains of India.
The mission is being operated under the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and the programme is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga