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4 years of Modi govt: Cleaning of ‘Holy Ganges’ underway at full swing

By Vikas

Effective management of rivers is vital in India as the agriculture almost entirely depends on rivers. Where on one hand rivers of North India rise from the Himalayan mountain ranges, the river of the south rise from low hills and mostly from the Western Ghats.

4 years of Modi govt: Cleaning of ‘Holy Ganges’ underway at full swing

The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is the apex body for formulation and administration of rules and regulations relating to the development and regulation of the water resources in India.

The Ministry was formed in January 1985 following the bifurcation of the then Ministry of Irrigation and Power, when the Department of Irrigation was re-constituted as the Ministry of Water Resources.

In July 2014, the Ministry was renamed to "Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation", making it the National Ganga River Basin Authority for conservation, development, management, and abatement of pollution in the river Ganges and its tributaries.

Namami Gange Project:

The main aim of the Namami Gange Project, which was launched on July 10, 2014, is to integrate the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga river in a comprehensive manner.

Under Namami Gange program, a total of 187 projects worth Rs.16565.34 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria development, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation,
afforestation, rural sanitation, and public participation.

93 projects out of 187 were sanctioned for creation of 2205.08 MLD new sewage treatment plants (STPs), rehabilitation of 564.3 MLD of existing STPs and laying/rehabilitation of 4762.4km sewer network for abatement of pollution in river Ganga and Yamuna. Till date 13 projects have been completed which has created 198 MLD STP capacity (153 MLD for river Ganga and 45 MLD for Yamuna River) and 1147 km of sewerage network has been laid.

Within a year of reconstitution of NMCG as an Authority (October 07,2016 to October 07, 2017), 44 projects worth Rs 7,547.87 crore were approved by the Executive Committee. These projects pertain to creation of adequate sewage treatment capacities in Ganga basin States - Uttarakhand (17) Uttar Pradesh (10), Bihar (11) Jharkhand (1) West Bengal (3) and Delhi (2). Total STP capacity of 1402.26 MLD will be created with the approval of these projects and sewer network length of 1429.24 km will
be laid down.

For abatement of industrial pollution, survey of all 1109 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) was conducted. Out of 1109 GPIs, 333 were closed and closure notices were given to non-complying GPIs.135 GPIs have been closed for non-compliance to stipulated norms. Eight Real Time Water
Quality Monitoring Station (RTWQMS) are operational under National Hydrology Project.

For River Front Development, works at 111 ghats and 46 crematoria are in progress and expected to be completed by 2018. For river surface cleaning, 11 trash skimmers have been deployed at Haridwar, Garh Mukhteshwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna, Sahibganj, Nabadwip, Kolkata, Delhi and

On rural sanitation front, all 4464 villages on the bank of river Ganga have been made Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 12, 74, 421 Individual Household Toilets have been constructed.Five
State Ganga Committees and 34 District Ganga Committees constituted for effective monitoring of projects and activities.Against the target of 15.27 lakh individual household latrines, approx. 10 lakh individual household latrines have been constructed.

Six public outreach programmes were organised in five main stem Ganga basin States. They are Ganga Swachhta Pakhwada, Ganga Sankalp Divas, Ganga Nirikshan Yatra, Ganga Dusshera, Ganga
Vriksharopan Saptah, and Swachhta Hi Seva Pakhwada.

The participation of corporates in Namami Gange programme grew stronger with successful completion of two road shows - London and Mumbai. Commitments of participation in NMCG activities
have been made by several corporates. Projects have also been taken up for bio-diversity conservation, conservation of fish and fisheries, Dolphin conservation, afforestation activities.

Countries like Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland and Israel have shown keen interest in collaborating with the Indian government for river Ganga cleaning. NMCG has signed an MoU with OISCA International, a leading NGO of Japan to collaborate in specific activities for pollution abatement and river rejuvenation.

Water Quality Monitoring:

Based on water quality monitoring being carried out at 124 locations through manual as well as sensors based real time system, it has been observed that water quality trend on tributaries of
Ramganga river viz., Bahela, Dahela, Kosi and Ramganga itself before its confluence with Ganga has shown improvements during the last two years.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY):

This programme has been formulated by amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD&GR), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources (DoLR) and the On Farm Water Management (OFWM) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC).

PMKSY was launched with an aim to enhance physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices.

Under PMKSY, Ninety Nine (99) ongoing AIBP projects along with their Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM) works, having potential of 76.03 lakh ha. and estimated cost of Rs. 77595 cr, . have been identified for completion in phases up to December, 2019. Funding mechanism through NABARD has been made by the Government for both central and state share for timely completion of 99 prioritized projects.

A Long Term Irrigation Fund has been created under NABARD for PMKSY (AIBP) projects. The Government on 16.08.2017 approved the proposal for raising zero cost bonds up to ₹ 9,020 crore
during FY 2017-18 for keeping interest rate @ 6%. During 2017-18, CA of ₹ 1,720.68 crore has been sanctioned for release through NABARD for AIBP & Command Area Development works. Further, State share of ₹ 3,390.37 crore for prioritised projects has been released through NABARD. In addition, an amount of ₹ 1,297.58 crore has been sanctioned for release through NABARD for Polavaram Project of Andhra Pradesh during the year.

National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme (NAQUIM):

The main aim this program is to delineate and characterize aquifers for quantification of ground water availability and assessment of ground water quality to formulate aquifer management plans for facilitating sustainable management of ground water resources at regional and local levels.

Under the program, 7.99 Lakh km2 area has been covered so far against total target of about 13 lakh SQ Km till March, 2020. Aquifer maps and management plans being prepared by CGWB are shared with the State Agencies for implementation. Implementation of the management plans by the State agencies is expected to improve the groundwater situation.

Work done under National Aquifer Mapping Program has been utilized for following successful activities which will reduce dependence on monsoon:

  • Project on Tapi Mega Recharge has been initiated as an outcome of Aquifer mapping study. This project envisages to recharge ground water to the tune of 358.92 million m3/ year benefiting an area of 2.3 lakh hectare.
  • Multi layered aquifers identified in intensely irrigated water stressed areas of Haryana. Managed Aquifer Recharge plans for Chhatarpur Basin in Delhi has been prepared.
  • Govt of Kerala has initiated preparation of Panchayat Water Security Plans from NAQUIM outputs.
  • Successful wells (18 nos) were drilled in water scarce villages in Tikamgarh district of Bundelkhand region for State PHED.
  • In Latur, Maharastra, 25 wells drilled for drought mitigation in Year 2016 and handed over to state agency for water supply

National Hydrology Project (NHP):

The main objective of the NHP is to improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment/planning and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in

Under National Hydrology Project, it proposed to establish National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) as a repository of nation-wide water resource data. This data will be utilised for various applications such as development of decision support system, integrated reservoir operation, flood forecasting including inundation forecasting, Basin Modelling and development of Water Resources Management plans with aims to achieve the objective of Ensuring Water Security and disaster management.

National Hydrology Project (NHP) has been taken up with the assistance of World Bank with total outlay of Rs.3679.7674 crore. NHP is a Central Sector Scheme, with 100% grant to the States with
World Bank Assistance to the tune of 50% of the project cost. It has pan India coverage with 49 Implementing Agencies (IAs) (including 10 from Central Government and 39 from States). The project has a total duration of eight years from 2016-17 to 2023-24.

Status of Interlinking of Rivers

In compliance to the direction of Union Cabinet, MoWR, RD GR vide O.M. dated 13th April, 2015 has constituted a Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers (TF-ILR) under the Chairmanship of Shri B.N. Navalawala, Chief Advisor, MoWR, RD&GR. So far, eight (8) meetings of the TF-ILR has been held and the last meeting was held on 15.09.2017. TF-ILR on 18.07.2016 has constituted a Group to look into legal aspects and required enabling provisions for implementation of Interlinking of Rivers and other related issues. The legal group has completed its assigned task and submitted its report to the Chairman, TF-ILR on 17th March 2017. In addition, a Group for Financial Aspects under TF-ILR was also constituted on 12.09.2017 to consider the financial aspects of ILR projects and to suggest the funding pattern for implementing the same. Three meetings of the Group were held so far and the
last meeting was held on 08.12.2017.

Four priority links under Peninsular Rivers Component have been identified for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) viz; Ken-Betwa link project (KBLP), Damanganga-Pinjal link project, Par-Tapi-Narmada link project and Mahanadi-Godavari link project. The preparation of DPR of a project is taken up only after consent of concerned State Governments. Based on the concurrence of the concerned States, DPRs of KBLP, Damanganga-Pinjal link project and Par-Tapi-Narmada link project have been completed.

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