Context: Recently, a number of initiatives have been taken by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under Arth-Ganga concept, in co-ordination with many Ministries/ Departments of Central and state governments and even NGOs.
What is Arth Ganga project?
- Arth Ganga is a sustainable viable economic model conceptualized under “Namami-Gange” program to integrate people in the basin with Ganga Rejuvenation.
- It focuses on the sustainable development of the Ganga and its surrounding areas, by focusing on economic activities related to the river.
- At its core, the Arth Ganga model seeks to use economics to bridge people with the river.
- Prime Minister of India first introduced the concept during the first National Ganga Council meeting in 2019, where he urged for a shift from Namami Gange, the Union Government’s flagship project to clean the Ganga, to the model of Arth Ganga.
There are six key verticals of intervention in the model, namely
- Promotion of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), which includes promotion of Natural Farming in Ganga Basin.
- Monetization and reuse of treated wastewater and sludge. It refers to reuse of treated wastewater by ULBs for generation of revenue and conversion of sludge into usable products such as manure, pavers and bricks for revenue generation as well as safe disposal of sludge.
- Development of Livelihood generation opportunities through activities like ‘Ghat Main Haat’ for sale of local products of Ganga cities/towns along riverbanks; self-sustaining of Ghats and capacity building trainings of Ganga Praharis etc. Jalaj units for income generation activities for Ganga Praharis have been set up in many locations.
- Encouragement of Public Participation through organizing regular events such as Ganga Aartis, cleanliness drives, Ganga Guide Trainings, Yoga on Ghat, Ghat Pe Haat etc. in coordination with District Ganga Committees.
- Promotion of Cultural heritage and tourism by development of small local tourism and cultural circuits; introduction of boat tourism through community jetties; promotion of yoga and wellness, medical tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, enhancement of cultural connection with the river through aartis & Ganga trails;
- Institution Building through setting up of decentralized monitoring and governance units like District Ganga Committees (DGCs); enhancement of the capacities of DGCs and other local administration institutions for better water governance and sustenance of the projects, post asset handover.
Namami Gange Programme
It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in 2014, to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
- It was registered as a society 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 five tier structure at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate the river Ganga.
- National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
Aims and objectives of NMCG
- To ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management.
- To maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.
- It rises in the Gangotri glacier near Gaumukh (3,900 m) in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Here, it is known as the Bhagirathi.
- At Devprayag, the Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda; hereafter, it is known as the Ganga.
- The Alaknanda has its source in the Satopanth glacier above Badrinath.
- The river has a length of 2,525 km.
- It is shared by Uttarakhand (110 km) and Uttar Pradesh (1,450 km), Bihar (445 km) and West Bengal (520 km).
- The Ganga river system is the largest in India having a number of perennial and non-perennial rivers originating in the Himalayas in the north and the Peninsula in the south, respectively.
- Right bank tributaries: Son , Yamuna, Tamsa (also called Tons), Karamnasa, Punpun, Ajoy, Damodar, Rupnarayan.
- Left bank tributaries: Ramganga, Gomati, Ghaghara, Gandak, Kosi and Mahananda.
- The river finally discharges itself into the Bay of Bengal near the Sagar Island.