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The ‘Namami Gange’ programme is an Integrated Conservation Mission initiated as a flagship programme by the Union Government with a budget outlay of Rs.20,000 crore in June 2014. The Namami Gange was launched to accomplish the objectives of conservation, rejuvenation and effective reduction of pollution of the National River, Ganga.
The Namami Gange programme is an umbrella programme that integrates the previous and current ongoing initiatives by increasing efficiency and supplementing them with better coordinated and more comprehensive interventions. The Government of India is helping the efforts of the State Governments to address the pollution of the River Ganga by giving financial support to the states.
There is an enormous need to clean the River Gange as every day, about 500 million litres of wastewater from industrial sources are directly dumped into Ganga. In many places, the wastewater entering the river is wholly untreated and raw.
The implementation of Namami Gange is divided into:
The Namami Gange Programme is implemented by a three-tier mechanism for project monitoring comprising of:
The area of activities undertaken under this programme is based on the pillars of the Namami Gange Programme. The main pillars of this programme are:
The activities undertaken under the Namami Gange programme are as follows:
Around 63 sewerage management projects are established, and 12 new sewerage management projects are under implementation in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
River Surface cleaning at 11 locations for the collection and disposal of floating solid waste from the river’s surface and Ghats are undertaken under this programme.
There is an initiation of 33 entry-level projects and 28 river-front development projects for modernisation, construction and renovation of 118 crematoria and 182 ghats.
There is an initiation of the forestry interventions for Ganga through Wildlife Institute of India, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute and Centre for Environment Education for five years (2016-2021).
Many Biodiversity conservation projects such as the Fish and Fishery Conservation in Ganga River, Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Education Programme is initiated. There is an establishment of 5 Biodiversity centres at Allahabad, Dehradun, Varanasi, Narora and Barrackpore to restore identified priority species.
Under this programme, regulation through inspections of the Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) is carried out for compliance verification against specified environmental norms. They are also inspected annually for compliance verification of the process modification and pollution norms through third party technical institutes. Action has been taken, and closure directions are issued against 110 non-complying GPIs under the Environment (Protection) Act.
For community participation and public outreach, numerous activities such as workshops, events, conferences and seminars were organised. Many awareness activities through campaigns, rallies, exhibitions, cleanliness drives, plantation drives, competitions were organised. For broad publicity, the mass medium such as Radio, TV and print media published advertisements, advertorials, and featured articles.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation identified 1,674 Gram Panchayats situated on the banks of the River Ganga in 5 States to construct toilets. A consortium of 7 IITs is engaged to prepare the Ganga River basin Plan, and 13 IITs adopted 65 villages for developing them as model villages.