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.