Ganga River Current Affairs

New Ganga clean-up law proposes setting up Ganga Protection Corps, prison terms and fines

Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has prepared draft Bill which proposes setting up armed Ganga Protection Corps (GPC) to arrest any person who has committed offence of polluting River Ganga punishable under this law. The Bill calls for National Ganga Council and National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority to enforce law and protect Ganga River.

Key Features of this Bill

Cognizable offences marked in this Bill: Construction activities causing obstruction in river, withdrawal of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from land fronting river and its tributaries, commercial fishing or aqua culture in river and its tributaries, discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river.

Ganga Protection Corps (GPC): The draft Bill envisages GPC as armed force constituted and maintained by Central government. It gives powers to armed GPC personnel to arrest any person who has committed offence punishable under this Act and take such person in custody to the nearest police station. For this GPC will follow Code of Criminal Procedure (CrCP).GPC personnel will be provided by Ministry of Home Affairs and will be deployed by National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority. This is almost similar provisions as in the Environment Protection Act 1986, but creation of GPC is new.
Punishment: The draft Bill proposes imprisonment for 2 years or fine of Rs 2 lakh or both for commercial fishing or aqua culture activities in Ganga and any of its tributaries. Similarly, it provides two-year imprisonment or fine up to Rs 50 lakh or both for construction of permanent structure for residential, commercial and residential purposes in active flood plain area of Ganga River.  It proposes 5 year prison term or fine of Rs. 50,000 per day or both for person or municipal authority which establishes or takes any steps to set up any industrial or residential or commercial premises or structure near Ganga which may result in discharge of any sewage or trade effluent into river.


Present environmental laws are not adequate to restore and protect Ganga River. To overcome it,Government had constituted  committee  under retired judge of Allahabad High Court Justice Girdhar Malviya in July 2016. It had submitted draft Bill named The National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill, 2017. Subsequently, four-member committee was also set up by Ministry to examine the Bill. Earlier in 1998, Justice Malviya, as judge of Allahabad High Court had called for River Police to protect the Ganga.

Month: Categories: Bills and Acts


National Mission for Clean Ganga organizes Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had organised Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan in five main Ganga basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The drive was launched on 9th July 2018 for a week upto 15 July 2018 which was observed as ‘Shubharambh Saptah’.

Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan

The campaign was initiated as part of Forest Interventions in Ganga (FIG) component of Namami Gange programme. It aimed to bring greater awareness among people and other stakeholders regarding importance of afforestation for task of Ganga Rejuvenation.

The state forest departments of these five states were nodal agencies for the smooth and effective execution of the campaign. It also saw participation from Ganga VicharManch (GVM), Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), NGOs and educational institutions.

Under this campaign, number of schools, colleges and departments were requested to “Adopt a Plant” for making it people’s movement. Besides, various seminars, workshops, lectures, drawing and painting competitions etc. were organized on sidelines of this campaign.

Dehradun based Forest Research Institute (FRI) had prepared Detailed Project Report (DPR) to implement the afforestation project in a scientific manner. On basis of DPR, State Forest Departments carried out their plantation activities.

Some of plants that were planted during campaign are Kanji, Siras, Chhitvan, Mango, Sheesham, Farmis, Jamun, Arjun, Gutal, Neem, Sagwan, Saal, Mahogni, Ber, Semal, Jungal Jalebi, Gulmohar, Kadam, Bamboo, Karaonda, Ashwagandha, Curry Patta, Jathrofa, Beheda, Dhatura, Sarpgandha etc.

Importance of Afforestation in Ganga Basin

Forests cause higher rainfall and raise water level in the river basins. Through their foliage, abundant leaf litter and craggy bark, trees and forests decrease speed of water dispersion. It favours slow but greater infiltration of rainwater to ensure smooth functioning of hydrological cycle.

Moreover, presence of healthy forest cover along river provides self-cleaning ability to river. Thus, afforestation and augmentation of existing forest cover along Ganga River holds promise to strengthen riparian ecosystem thereby contributing to  overarching cause of Ganga Rejuvenation.

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.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018