District Ganga Committees and Namami Gange | 07 Apr 2022

For Prelims: Namami Gange Programme, District Ganga Committees, National Mission for Clean Ganga.

For Mains: Significance of Namami Gange Programme in the Rejuvenation of River Ganga.

Why in News?

The Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched the ‘Digital Dashboard for District Ganga Committees (DGCs) Performance Monitoring System’ (GDPMS) under Namami Gange Programme.

  • The Digital Dashboard has been devised to help the DGCs in enhancing people-river connections.

What are District Ganga Committees?

  • District Ganga Committees were constituted in the districts on the Ganga River basin for putting in place a mechanism at the district level to ensure people’s participation in management and pollution abatement in river Ganga and its tributaries.
  • The DGCs are mandated to ensure proper utilization of assets created under Namami Gange, monitor drains/sewage falling in River Ganga and its tributaries, and create a strong connect of people with Ganga rejuvenation.

What is Namami Gange?

  • 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 being operated under 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

What are the Related Initiatives?

  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
    • The National River Conservation Plan is an extension to the Ganga Action Plan. It aims at cleaning the Ganga river under Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
  • National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA): It was formed by the Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
    • It declared the Ganga as the ‘National River’ of India.
  • Clean Ganga Fund: In 2014, it was formed for cleaning up of the Ganga, setting up of waste treatment plants, and conservation of biotic diversity of the river.
  • Bhuvan-Ganga Web App: It ensures involvement of the public in monitoring of pollution entering into the river Ganga.
  • Ban on Waste Disposal: In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned the disposal of any waste in the Ganga.

What is the Ganga River System?

  • The headwaters of the Ganga called the ‘Bhagirathi’ are fed by the Gangotri Glacier and joined by the Alaknanda at Devprayag in Uttarakhand.
  • At Haridwar, Ganga emerges from the mountains to the plains.
  • The Ganga is joined by many tributaries from the Himalayas, a few of them being major rivers such as the Yamuna, the Ghaghara, the Gandak and the Kosi.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

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)

  • 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.

Source: PIB