About: Namami Gange Programme, National Ganga Council, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) #UPSC

  • Cities situated on river banks will have to incorporate river conservation plans when they prepare their Master Plans, says a policy document from the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
Ganga River and It’s Tributaries

About: Namami Gange Programme

  • ‘Namami Gange Programme’, is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014.
    • Flagship schemes of Government are those schemes which are the most important schemes and address major national concerns on health, education, environment, etc.
    • As the schemes are of utmost importance, the funding of these schemes is slightly higher than other schemes.

  • The main pillars of the Namami Gange programme are:
    • Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure & Industrial Effluent Monitoring
    • Development of river-front as well as river-surface cleaning
    • Bio-Diversity & Afforestation
    • Public Awareness

  • It is implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
    • NMCG has been given statutory powers under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, giving it bureaucratic autonomy and regulatory powers to execute the mission in coordination with the respective state governments.

  • Concerned Ministry: Ministry of Jal Shakti
  • Corpus: Rs. 20,000 crore

About: National Ganga Council

  • National Ganga Council was formed in 2016 by an executive order to replace the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
  • This Council has the overall responsibility of preventing pollution and rejuvenating the Ganga River Basin, including the River Ganga and its tributaries.
  • Prime Minister of India acts as the Chairman of the Council.

About: National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It is the implementation body of the National Ganga Council.
  • Objectives:
    • 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.

  • NMCG is supported by the State level Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.

News Summary:

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), in its policy document, has emphasised the need for river conservation plans and also noted that these “river-sensitive” plans must be practical and consider questions of encroachment and land ownership.
  • The recommendations are currently for towns that are on the main stem of the river Ganga.
    • There are, as per the estimate of the policy document, 97 such towns across 5 States.

  • As per the policy document, increasing green cover in the vicinity of the river by creating green buffers, removing concrete structures and employing “green infrastructure” is a key aspect of conserving and protecting river and riverine resources.
  • As per the recommendations, the Master plan should create an environment for facilitating the use of state-of-the-art technologies for river management. These technologies include:
    • Satellite-based monitoring of water quality
    • Artificial intelligence for riverine biodiversity mapping
    • Big data and citizen science for river-health monitoring
    • Unmanned aerial vehicles for floodplain mapping, etc.

  • Going forward, the nature and type of technologies are expected to become more sophisticated and effective. The cities must, therefore, be ready to embrace these changes seamlessly.

 Environment & Ecology