Ganga Rejuvenation Current Affairs

Government forms task force for speedy implementation Namami Gange

The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted task force for speedy implementation of various ongoing Namami Gange programme.

The task force is expected to have ministers and officials from water resources, urban development, drinking water and sanitation and rural development among others onboard.

Namami Gange programme

Namami Gange programme is an ambitious flagship programme of Union Government aiming at integrating various efforts to clean and protect River Ganga in comprehensive manner. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015.

The programme aims at Ganga rejuvenation by combining the existing ongoing efforts and planning under it to create a concrete action plan for future. It has budgetary outlay of Rs.20,000 crore to accomplish twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga. It will cover 8 states, 47 towns and 12 rivers under project.

The main pillars of programme are sewerage treatment infrastructure, river-front development, river-surface cleaning, bio-diversity, afforestation, public awareness, industrial effluent monitoring and ganga gram. It also seeks to benefit vast population dependent on River Ganaga in terms of job creation, improved livelihoods and health benefits.

Its implementation has been divided into entry-level activities for immediate visible impact, medium-term activities to be implemented within 5 years of time frame and Long-Term Activities to be implemented within 10 years. It also endeavours to deploy best available knowledge and resources international countries that have expertise in river rejuvenation such as Australia, UK, Germany, Finland, Israel etc.

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Madhav Chitale Committee Recommends Measures for De-silting Ganga

The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for desiltation of Ganga River last year. The four member committee is headed by Madhav Chitale (Expert Member of National Ganga River Basin Authority). The other members of the committee include Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change and Dr. Mukesh Sinha, Director, Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune. The committee was constituted as per the commitment made by Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti while chairing the 6th meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority in New Delhi in July, 2016.

Salient Recommendations

The committee has recommended a series of measures that includes creation of sand registry for de-silting of the Ganga, study to guide de-silting activities and establishment of a technical institute to conduct the sediment budget.

The committee has recommended for the establishment of an institute for flood routing studies. 

The committee has observed that erosion, sediment transport and siltation are very complex phenomena and hence ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach cannot be applied to sediment management and control as the issues involved are regionally-specific. So, the committee suggests to evolve guidelines, better broad principles while planning and implementing de-silting works as the indiscriminate se-siltation works may cause more harm to ecology.

The committee recommends good agricultural practices, river bank anti-erosion works and reclamation of adjoining lakes along the river. The committee also favors de-silting of adjoining lakes to increase their storage capacities.

It has recommended dredging of shoals in the Farakka Barrage and usage of such sediments for re-grading the Farakka Feeder Canal. It has also suggested to modify  the bridges across the Ganga which are causing large afflux.

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