On August 16, 2022, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), along with the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), organised an event ‘Yamuna Par Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ at the water sports club in New Delhi (Delhi).
- The event was presided by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS). He also received the guard of honour by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, during the event.
Launch of new initiatives:
The events saw the launch of number of the following new initiatives under the Arth-Ganga concept:
The Union Minister virtually launched the Jalaj initiative at 26 sites along rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Gomati, Hooghly and Chambal in six states including Uttar Pradesh-UP (11 sites), West Bengal-WB (6), Bihar (5), Uttarakhand (2), Jharkhand (1) and Madhya Pradesh-MP (1 along river Chambal).
i.The initiative involves setting up of small shops or floating mobile centres to promote livelihood on the banks of River Ganga.
ii.It is being implemented in association with Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
iii.The initiative aims to increase the ‘Jalaj’ sites from 26 to 75.
- Notably, the Central Government already proposed 75 locations during 2022. The locations are at the main stem of Ganga basin states viz. Bihar, Uttarakhand, UP, Jharkhand and WB.
What is being done under Jalaj?
i.A trained cadre of Ganga Praharis has been created from among the local people by WII for biodiversity conservation and Ganga rejuvenation.
ii.Jalaj, innovative mobile livelihood centre, is aimed at aligning the skill enhancement activities with Ganga conservation.
iii.The initiative will engage local people for multiple economic activities such as homestay, safari, river walk, health & wellness centre, biodiversity watch, religious tourism, village tour and natural farming.
iv.It will promote local produce and facilitates stakeholder participation in river conservation in line with Arth Ganga objectives.
To promote livelihood opportunities along the Ganga basin, and to promote Arth Ganga initiative, a tourism-related portal called ImAvatar was also launched.
i.It is another livelihood programme, focusing on religion tourism, facilitating visits of older citizens to religious pilgrims through Ganga Sewaks trained by NMCG.
ii.It also envisages marketing of local products, both agriculture and handicrafts.
iii. NMCG and ImAvatar will work together in the areas of public participation through religious and spiritual tourism and creating market linkages.
- Digitalizing NMCG and Namami Gange touch points and assets is also part of the collaboration.
Signing of MoU between NMGC and Sahakar Bharati:
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the NMCG and the Sahakar Bharati to achieve the vision of sustainable and viable economic development through public participation, creation and strengthening of local cooperatives by directing their cooperation towards realizing the mandate of Arth Ganga.
i.This MoU will also promote natural farming on 5 km on either side of River Ganga to provide sludge to farmers as fertilizers and treated wastewater to industries.
ii.Some of the major objectives the MoU envisages include identification of 75 villages in five states on the main stem to be designated as ‘Sahakar Ganga Grams’, generate ‘More net-Income Per Drop’, facilitate marketing of natural farming/organic produce under brand Ganga through creation of market linkages, promote people-river connect through economic bridge etc.
What is Arth Ganga?
It is a concept given by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during the National Ganga Council meeting in 2019, which primarily means using economics as a bridge to connect people with rivers. It catalyse economic development in the Ganga basin to generate economic benefit of more than Rs 1000 crores over the next 5 years.
- This concept in line with the slogan of “Banking on River Ganga”.
The Central Government has identified the following 6 verticals where Arth Ganga will be implemented:
i.Zero Budget Natural Farming that includes chemical-free farming for 10 kms on either side of the river, generating more income, per drop, Gobar Dhan for farmers.
ii.Monetization and Reuse of Sludge &Wastewater that envisages reuse of treated water for irrigation; industrial purposes and revenue generation for ULBs
iii.Livelihood Generation Opportunities such as Ghat Mein Haat, promotion of local products, Ayurveda, medicinal plants, capacity building of volunteers like Ganga Praharis,
iv.Public Participation to ensure increased synergies between stakeholders
v.Cultural Heritage & Tourism that looks to introduce boat tourism through community jetties, promotion of yoga, adventure tourism etc. and Ganga Artis
vi.Institutional Building by enhancing the local capacities for better decentralized water governance.
i.The event ended with captivating musical performances by school students.
ii.The winners of the Ganga Quest 2022 were felicitated on the occasion and the new River Champ course was launched on the Continuous Learning and Activity Portal (CLAP).
- Ganga Quest is an online quiz aimed at enhancing knowledge and sensitizing the children and youth about various aspects of River Ganga.
iii.This event is part of the campaign being run by NMCG on Yamuna ghats in Delhi to spread awareness about cleaning of River Yamuna.
iv.A sewage treatment plant (STP) of the capacity of 318 MLD (millions of liter per day) has recently been commissioned at Coronation Pillar in Delhi while three other main STPs on Yamuna, funded by NMCG, are targeted to be completed by December 2022.
- These include Rithala, Kondli and Okhla, which is one of the biggest STPs in Asia.
- The completion of these STPs will help in preventing sewage from drains falling into Yamuna.
v.A total of 12 projects for the treatment of 1,385 MLD sewage have been taken up at a cost of about Rs 2,354 crore under Namami Gange programme in Delhi to abate the pollution in River Yamuna.
vi.More than Rs 30,000 crore has been sanctioned for projects aimed at cleaning Ganga and its tributaries.
Secretary of Jal Shakti Ministry Pankaj Kumar; Ganji Kamala Vardhana Rao, Director General, Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, among other officials
Recent Related News:
i.Rajiv Ranjan Mishra and Puskal Upadhyay have authored a new book titled “Ganga: ReImagining, ReJuvenating, ReConnecting” describes the issues faced by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) team during its task.
ii.Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh (MP) became India’s first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ (Water To Every Household) certified district, with all the 254 villages in the district having access to safe drinking water under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):
It is a central nodal agency for Ganga rejuvenation in India.
Director-General– G Asok Kumar
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi