Namami Gange Programme Current Affairs - 2020

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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.

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MoU Signed for Rudraksh Trees Plantation in Ganga Basin

A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and HCL Foundation for plantation of 10,000 Rudraksh trees in catchment area of river Ganga Basin in Uttarakhand.

Key Highlights of MoU

  • About: NMCG has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with INTACH and HCL Foundation to take up a project of ‘Plantation of 10000 Rudraksh Trees in Uttarakhand’. This is part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative under ‘Namami Gange’ Programme.
  • Objective: To create a greener ecosystem in Ganga Basin. For this the project aims at planting Rudraksh trees in Uttarakhand in association with local community and other stakeholders within state. This will also help in generating income for people residing in those plantation areas.
  • Significance: The project undertaken will provide sustainable and comprehensive solutions for a cleaner ecosystem along the stretch catchment area of river Ganga. It covers about 97 towns and 4,465 villages on Ganga stretch and being a public-private partnership (PPP) provides initiative a much-needed impetus.

About Rudraksh Tree

  • Scientific Name: Elaeocarpus ganitrus
  • The term is derived from words Rudra which is one of hindu Lord Shiva’s vedic names and Akṣa means ‘teardrops’. Thus, Rudraksh actually means Lord Shiva’s teardrops.
  • It is a large evergreen tree, with a height of 60-80 feet and has broad-leaves. It is the seeds of the tree which are known as Rudraksh.
  • Its seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism and Buddhism and primarily used in India and Nepal.

About INTACH

  • It is an autonomous non-governmental Indian non-profit charitable organization. It was founded in 1984 and is registered under the Societies’ Registration Act, 1860. It seeks to preserve Indian culture and heritage. UN has
  • INTACH was awarded a special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by UN in 2007.

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