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  • 08 April, 2021

  • 9 Min Read

Clean Ganga Fund- Role in Ganga Conservation

The main goal of the Government’s flagship program Namami Gange has been to make Ganga clean and restore its pristine glory. Rejuvenation of such a long river not only poses tremendous challenges but also requires huge investment.

The Government has already quadrupled the budget, but still, it will not be sufficient for such a mammoth amount of work. Therefore, a Clean Ganga Fund was created by the Government, in which everyone can contribute funds to clean the river Ganga.

Background- Cleaning Ganga

  • The Ganga Action Plan was launched in 1986 with the objective of pollution abatement, to improve water quality by interception, diversion and treatment of domestic sewage and toxic waste.
  • The Government announced the setting up of an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called "Namami Gange" and an initial sum of Rs. 2,037 crore has been allocated in the Union Budget 2014-15.
  • The Government also established the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), chaired by the Prime Minister, with the objective to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga.

Clean Ganga Fund-

  • It is set up with voluntary contributions from residents of the country and Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) / Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and others.
  • It is set up as a trust under the Indian Trusts Act.
  • It is managed by a Trust to be headed by Finance Minister.
  • The secretariat of the Trust is set up in Ministry of Jal Shakti under the Mission Director, Clean Ganga.
  • The proposal to set up CGF was to attract private contributions globally for increasing people's participation in this massive task.
  • The domestic donors to the Fund shall be eligible for tax benefits as applicable in the case of the Swachh Bharat Kosh.
  • CGF will have the objective of contributing to the national effort of improving the cleanliness of the river Ganga with the contributions received from the residents of the country, NRIs/ PIO and others.
  • CGF will explore the possibility of setting up daughter funds in other jurisdictions/countries of high donor interest such as USA, UK, Singapore, UAE, etc. to enable tax benefits to donors in their respective jurisdictions.
  • CGF will be catalytic in nature and will identify and fund specific projects which could be pilot projects, R&D projects, innovative projects or other focused projects.

Significance of Clean Ganga Fund

  • It is an initiative to harness the enthusiasm of people for Ganga and to bring them closer to the Ganga and inculcate a sense of ownership.
  • It involves major organizations and general public at large who are coming forward to contribute to the Ganga fund which strengthens the Mission to achieve the objective of a clean and healthy Ganga.
  • It has the objective of contributing to the national effort of cleaning of the river Ganga.
  • The money is being used in areas such as afforestation, treatment of nalas through in-situ bioremediation process, and redevelopment of ghats.

National Mission for Clean Ganga

  • It is registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga Council (which replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority in 2016).
  • National Ganga Council was constituted in 2016 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and headed by the Prime Minister of India.
  • It is part of the 5-tier governance structure envisaged under the EPA act to ensure a clean river Ganga. They are-
    • National Ganga Council under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
    • Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti
    • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
    • State Ganga Committees and
    • District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.
  • NMCG has two wings, both of them headed by Director General, NMCG (an Additional Secretary in Government of India).
    • Governing Council
    • Executive Committee authorized to accord approval for all projects up to Rs.1000 crore.
  • Similar to the structure at the national level, State Program Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arms of State Ganga Committees.

Key objectives

    • To ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management and
    • To maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.

Key Functions

    • Implement the work program of the National Ganga Council (NGC).
    • Implement the World Bank-supported National Ganga River Basin Project.
    • Coordinate and oversee the implementation of projects sanctioned by the Government of India under NGC.
    • Undertake any additional work or functions as may be assigned by MoWR, RD &GJ in the area of conservation of river Ganga.
    • Accept or to provide any grant of money, loan securities, or property of any kind and to undertake and accept the management of any endowment trust, fund or donation not inconsistent with the objectives of NMCG.
    • Take all such action and enter all such actions as may appear necessary or incidental for the achievements of the objectives of the NGC.

Source: PIB

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