Environment Current Affairs

NMCG approves five Namami Gange projects in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved five Namami Gange projects worth Rs 295.01 crore in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Out of these 5 projects, three pertain to sewage management in West Bengal, one relates to sewage management in Uttarakhand and remaining one is related to ghat improvement works in Uttar Pradesh. Projects related to sewage management are located in high pollution load towns along river Ganga.

Approved Projects

Uttarakhand: The approved project includes laying sewer lines in some of uncovered areas in Haridwar.

Varanasi: The approved project includes repair and retrofitting of various ghats. It aims to strengthen poor condition of ghats through bolder pitching and stone steps to ensure improved life of ghats apart from avoiding risk and inconvenience to the visitors and pilgrims.

West Bengal: The sewage management works approved are in Kamarhati and Baranagar Municipalities (60 MLD STP, de-silting of sewer lines etc.) under PPP-based Hybrid Annuity mode. It also includes pollution abatement works for river Ganga in Berhampore Municipality (3.5 MLD STP and sewer network) and sewage management works in Nabadwip Municipality (9.5 MLD STP and renovation of 10.5 MLD STP).

In Uttarakhand, approval was given to one project for laying of sewer lines in some of the uncovered areas in Haridwar at an estimated cost of Rs 4.68 crore.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

NMCG is implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (also referred as National Ganga Council). It was established in 2011 as registered society under Societies Registration Act, 1860.

It has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General (DG), NMCG. Executive Committee is authorized to approve projects under mission up to Rs.1000 crore.

Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees. This structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.

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Scientists discover four new balsam species in Arunachal Pradesh

Scientists have discovered four new balsam species from various locations in Eastern Himalayas in northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. They are Impatiens haridasanii, Impatiens pseudocitrina, Impatiens nilalohitae and Impatiens roingensis. Infrastructure project like road widening works, deforestation and other development activities are posing a threat to the natural habitat of the new species.

Key Facts

Impatiens haridasanii: It was discovered in Pongchan. The species is characterised by small yellow flowers and hairy leaves. It has been named after Haridasan, former scientist, State Forest Research Institute, Arunachal Pradesh, for his contribution to the taxonomy of the north-eastern States.

Impatiens pseudocitrina: It was discovered in Anjaw district. It sports bright yellow flowers with small red spots on the throat and has long spur at the back. Its name denotes similarities with I. citrina.

Impatiens nilalohitae: It was discovered from the Lower Dibang valley. It grows to height of more than one metre and has dark purple flowers with pale yellow throat and green stalk. Its name denotes dark purple colour in Sanskrit.

Impatiens roingensis: It was found growing in Roing and Upper Siang. It has clustered white flowers with yellow patch on the mouth and hooked spur.

Balsams

Balsams are commonly known as jewel weeds because of diverse colour of their flowers. They are distributed throughout the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats, Sri Lanka, South East Asia, Africa and Madagascar. Their genus is called Impatiens, signifying impatient nature of their fruits which explode when touched. India is home to more than 230 balsam species.

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