New Delhi, Nov 4 : The Government today decided to declare River Ganga as a 'National River'.
A high powered Ganga River Basin Authority will also be set up to protect the ancient river from pollution and other degradation.
The proposed Authority would be headed by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and would have as its members Chief Ministers of states through which the river flows.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Dr. Singh, which reviewed the Ganga Action Plan.
At the meeting, attended by Ministers of Water Resources, Environment and Forests and Urban Development, Dr. Singh said there was a need to set up a model for cleaning of rivers through the new institutional mechanism.
"It was decided that there is a need to replace the current piecemeal efforts taken up in a fragmented manner in select cities with an integrated approach that sees the river as an ecological entity and addresses issues of quantity in terms of water flows along with issues of quality, a PMO release said.
The details of the Authority to be vested with appropriate powers would be worked out in consultation with State Governments and Central Ministries.
The unit of planning, it was felt, should be the river basin and action related to pollution abatement, sustainable use of water and flood management should be integrated. The proposed Authority will promote intersectoral coordination for comprehensive planning for the river.
Various agencies working on different aspects of river conservation and pollution management would be brought together under this proposed Authority.