Clean Ganga Mission Current Affairs - 2020

PM Modi reviews Namami Gange Project

On December 14, 2019, PM Modi reviewed the Namami Gange Project at Kanpur Atal Ghat. He was accompanied by UP CM Yogi Adityanath. He also visited the recently closed Sisamau Nala. PM Modi also chaired the first meeting of National Ganga Council with the Union Ministers.

Why Kanpur?

The most polluted stretch of the Ganges from Gaumukh to Gangasagar lies in Kanpur. The sewage treatment in Kanpur was inadequate with only 150-175 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage being treated and the rest of untreated sewage discharged into the river directly. The Sisamau Nala channel that was closed recently discharged 140 MLD of sewage. There are around 400 leather tanning industries in and around the city discharging unregulated discharges into the river.

Council review

The Council chaired by the Prime Minister for the first time reviewed 10 projects at estimated cost of Rs 2315 crores. It also included the diversion of Sisamau Nala channel. The Sisamau Nala drain, the largest drain in Asia was used as a sewerage conveyance channel since 1890. The drain was closed by the UP government in 2018.

Organic Farming along the Ganges

The Council has planned to launch organic farming on the banks of the river. This is because, besides industrial and sewerage pollution, agricultural run off is a major pollution in the river. The council has planned to encourage farmers in sustainable agricultural practices such as planting of fruit trees, zero budget farming and building plant nurseries on the banks of the river.

National Ganga Council

The National Ganga Council holds overall responsibility to direct, develop and control River Ganga and the entire River Ganga Basin. It also includes protection, prevention and abatement of environmental pollution in River Ganga.

Jurisdiction of the Council

The jurisdiction of the council is extended to states Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi and Haryana.

Composition

The PM is the chair person of the council. The Union Minister of Water Resources, river development and Ganga Rejuvenation are the ex-officio vice-chairperson of the council. The other members include ministers of finance, urban development, environment, tourism, drinking water and sanitation, shipping, vice chairman of NITI Aayog and CMs of the states to which the jurisdiction extends.

Ganga Aamantran initiative launched by Jal Shakti Minister

Ganga Aamantran is an initiative to connect stakeholders of the Ganga river. It is the first effort of National Mission for Clean Ganga. It is an open – water rafting and kayaking expedition that is to be held on the Ganges between 10th October 2019 and 11th November 2019.

Highlights of the initiative

  • The expedition starts at Devprayag and ends at Ganga Sagar covering 2,500 km in the Ganges
  • This is the first and largest campaign in Indian history to create awareness about River Rejuvenation and Water Conservation on a large scale.
  • Swimmers and rafters from all three services of Indian Armed forces will join as 9 member teams. The teams will also be joined by members from CSIR – IITR (Indian Institute of Toxicology Research) and NDRF. The team from CSIR – IITR will collect samples from different ranges of the river.
  • The team will conduct public awareness campaigns in locations they stop. They will organize mass cleaning drives. The team will also interact with students of villages and cities alongside of the journey.
  • The initiative is joined by the Wildlife Institute of India to conduct flora and fauna census of 2019.
  • The initiative encompasses 5 Ganga basin states that include UP, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • The complete program is to be headed by Paramvir Singh from IAF (Indian Air Force). He is the only person who swum the entire length from Devprayag to Gangasagar.

Awareness exercises and programs

  • Painting and slogan competitions on the theme “Water Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”
  • Test water samples
  • Educate students and youth on wetlands, bio diversity conservation
  • Celebrate festivals
  • Public outreach

The objective of the initiative is to draw attention of the citizens of the country towards ecological challenges faced by the river.

Significance of Devprayag and Alkananda

The Bhagirathi and Alakananda rivers merge to form river Ganga at Devprayag. Gangasagar is an island in the Ganges delta