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Arth Ganga Project

  • 27 Aug 2022
  • 7 min read

Why in News?

Recently, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga spoke about the Arth Ganga model during World Water Week 2022.

What are the Key Features of the Arth Ganga Project?

  • About:
    • ‘Arth Ganga’ implies a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga.
    • PM Modi first introduced the concept during the first National Ganga Council meeting in Kanpur in 2019, where he urged for a shift from Namami Gange to the model of Arth Ganga.
  • Under Arth Ganga, the government is working on six verticals:
    • The first is Zero Budget Natural Farming, which involves chemical-free farming on 10 km on either side of the river, and the promotion of cow dung as fertilizer through the Gobardhan scheme.
    • The Monetization and Reuse of Sludge & Wastewater is the second, which seeks to reuse treated water for irrigation, industries and revenue generation for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
    • Arth Ganga will also involve Livelihood Generation Opportunities, by creating haats where people can sell local products, medicinal plants and ayurveda.
    • The fourth is to increase public participation by increasing synergies between the stakeholders involved with the river.
    • The model also wants to promote the cultural heritage and tourism of Ganga and its surroundings, through boat tourism, adventure sports and by conducting yoga activities.
    • Lastly, the model seeks to promote institutional building by empowering local administration for improved water governance.

What is World Water Week?

  • World Water Week is an annual conference on global water issues which is held in the last week of August every year.
  • It was started in 1991 and initially part of a public water festival in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
  • Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is the organizer of World Water Week.
  • World Water Week is an opportunity to explore water aspects of challenges like the climate crisis, food security, energy, and many other topics.
  • The week is also taken as an opportunity to discuss and accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6), which is about clean water and sanitation for all.
  • The theme for World Water Week 2022 is “Seeing the Unseen: The Value of Water.”
    • The theme will look at three main areas: the value of water among people and for development, the value of water with respect to nature and climate change, and the economic and financial value of water.

What is the Namami Gange Programme?

  • Namami Gange Programme is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • It is operated by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations i.e State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council (set in 2016, which replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority - NGRBA).
  • It has a Rs. 20,000-crore, centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus and consists of nearly 288 projects.
  • The main pillars of the programme are:
    • Sewage Treatment Infrastructure
    • River-Front Development
    • River-Surface Cleaning
    • Biodiversity
    • Afforestation
    • Public Awareness
    • Industrial Effluent Monitoring
    • Ganga Gram

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Which of the following are the key features of ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)’? (2016)

  1. River basin is the unit of planning and management.
  2. It spearheads the river conservation efforts at the national level.
  3. One of the Chief Ministers of the States through which the Ganga flows becomes the Chairman of NGRBA on rotation basis.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (a)

Exp:

  • Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 on 20th Feb 2009 had set up ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA) as an empowered planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the Ganga River.
  • Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairperson of the Authority, and it has as its members, the concerned Union Ministers and the Chief Ministers of states through which Ganga flows, viz., Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, among others. Hence, 3 is not correct.
  • Key Features
    • River basin is the unit of planning and management. This is an internationally accepted strategy for the
    • integrated management of rivers. Hence, 1 is correct.
    • NGRBA will spearhead river conservation efforts at the national level. Implementation will be by the State Agencies and Urban Local Bodies. Hence, 2 is correct.
    • It will take into account the competing demands of water and will seek to ensure minimum ecological flows.
    • Solid Waste Treatment Plants will be made functional to minimize the pollution load up to discharge standard of BOD of 30mg/litre requiring dilution to achieve river water quality of 3mg/litre.
    • The minimum ecological flows or the entire Ganga will be determined through modelling exercises.
    • NGRBA will take appropriate measures to regulate water abstraction for maintaining ecological flows in the river.
    • Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.

Source: IE

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