River Ganga Current Affairs

Government launches first ever across-the-river survey to figure out aquatic life

The Union Government has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in River Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin.

The survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve quality of the Ganga’s water. 

Key Facts
  • The first of its kind survey is being conducted by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) through Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under Namami Gange programme.
  • The first leg of the census was launched on March 1, 2017 from Narora in Uttar Pradesh to Bijnor (covering nearly 165 km distance) to establish the number of the Gangetic dolphin, national aquatic animal.
  • In next phase it will be launched in the Allahabad to Varanasi stretch (close to 250 km in length) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • It will find out stretches where dolphin is habitating, what are the conditions there and the level of threat the long-snouted species is facing in a particular belt,
  • The study to figure out fish species composition in the in the 2525 km-long stretch of River Ganga also been started from Harshil in Uttarakhand.
  • Besides populace count, it will help know distribution pattern of aquatic life in river, extent of threat level faced by them and their habitat conditions. It will also ascertain number of ghariyals and turtles.
Significance

This will be for the first time a comprehensive and scientific study will be conducted to determine the population of aquatic life in River Ganga. Earlier all the surveys carried out were conducted in bits and pieces or were rapid.

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Union Cabinet approves River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016

The Union Cabinet has approved the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016.

The Order empowers National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to take action against polluting industries. So far, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had powers to take actions.

Key Features of order

  • Envisages creation of National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) as an Authority under Prime Minister as Chairperson.
  • The new authority will be replacing the existing NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority).
  • Declares NMCG as an Authority with powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • Delegates financial and administrative powers to NMCG to accelerate the process of project implementation for Ganga rejuvenation.
  • It will have overall responsibility for superintendence of pollution prevention and rejuvenation of river Ganga Basin.
  • Sets up an Empowered Task Force chaired by Union Minister of Water Resources along with other ministries, departments and State governments concerned in protection of Ganga.
  • Lays down a new institutional structure for policy and implementation in fast track manner.

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