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‘Clean Ganga’ changes course to conservation, tourism, livelihood

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment and Conservation


Source: TH 

Direction: The article covers the flagship Namami Gange program and the new focus areas of the program.

 Context: The Union government’s flagship Namami Gange program, which was designed to enhance cleanliness levels in the Ganga River, has now geared to shift its focus to conservation, tourism and economic livelihoods.


About Namami Gange Programme:

  • It is an Integrated Conservation Mission approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, in 2014, with a budget outlay of Rs.20,000 crore.
  • Its mandate is to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the National River Ganga.
  • It is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organisations i.e., State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
  • 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).


Key achievements under the Namami Gange Programme: Since 2014, close to ₹30,000 crores has been sanctioned for various projects, including building and improving sewers and river rejuvenation activities.


New focus areas to include:

  • The Tourism Ministry is developing tourism circuits and planning exhibitions and fairs in 75 towns along the main stem of the river.
  • The Agriculture Ministry is taking steps to build organic farming and natural farming corridors.
  • The Urban Affairs Ministry is mapping drains and solid waste management along the river.
  • The Environment Ministry is scaling up afforestation and scaling up conservation efforts to protect the Gangetic River dolphin
  • Arth Ganga or harnessing economic potential from the Ganga and nearby communities
  • The Power Ministry is working to reuse treated wastewater for thermal power
  • The Rural Development Ministry is looking to rejuvenate small rivers and protect traditional water bodies.


Way ahead:

  • In States, the focus would be expeditiously completing projects.
  • Every Ganga district is expected to develop health cards for wetlands and adopt policies for the reuse of treated water and other by-products.


 Insta Links:

Namami Gange Programme


Mains Links:

Q. The ‘Namami Gange’ programme’s holistic approach brings together public policy, technology intervention and community participation. Elaborate. (250 words)


Prelims Links:

Q3. Consider the following statements about Namami Gange Programme:

  1. It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ in 2014.
  2. It is being operated under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  3. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementation wing of the National Ganga Council and it is headed by Prime Minister.

Which of the given above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2

b. 2 and 3

c. 1 and 3

d. 1, 2 and 3