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  • 03 May, 2020

  • 10 Min Read

National Mission for Clean Ganga organised IDEAthon


The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organized an IDEAthon on “The future of River Management’ to explore how the COVID-19 crisis can shape River Management strategies for the future.

Dealing with the COVID-19 crisis has been a challenge for most countries across the globe which has witnessed some sort of lockdown in most of the places. While the general narrative around this crisis has been that of anxiety and concern, the crisis has also thrown up some positive developments.
Rivers have become cleaner. The air has become fresher. There has been a significant drop in GHG emissions.

Purely from a river management point of view, in India there has been a noticeable improvement in the water quality of the Ganga and Yamuna in the last few weeks. During the last year or so, the Gangetic Dolphin, an indicator species, has been showing improvements with sightings at several stretches of the river. The sighting of this is more frequent during lockdown in Ganga and its tributaries. Venice’s (in) famously polluted canals have become clearer as tourists stay away. For the first time in recent history, dolphins are back in the waterways of Italy as navigation has stopped.

National Mission for Clean Ganga

National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986. NGRBA has since been dissolved with effect from the 7th October 2016.

The Act envisages five tier structure at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate the river Ganga as below;
1. National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
2. Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti (Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation).
3. National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG).
4. State Ganga Committees and
5. District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.

NMCG has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General, NMCG. Executive Committee has been authorized to accord approval for all projects up to Rs.1000 crore. Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees. Thus the newly created structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.
The Director General(DG) of NMCG is a Additional Secretary in Government of India. For effective implementation of the projects under the overall supervision of NMCG, the State Level Program Management Groups (SPMGs) are, also headed by senior officers of the concerned States.

Steps taken to Prevent Ganga Pollution

  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment & Forests in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage. It also aimed to prevent toxic and industrial chemical wastes (from identified polluting units) from entering the river.
    • National River Conservation Plan was an extension to the Ganga Action Plan, so as to cover all the major rivers of the country.
  • ‘National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA)’ was formed by the Central Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. It is chaired by the Prime Minister of India.
  • In 2010, ‘Government clean-up campaign’ was started to ensure that by 2020 no untreated municipal sewage or industrial runoff enters river.
  • In 2014, ‘Namami Gange Programme’ was launched as an Integrated Conservation Mission, to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
    • The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organization viz., State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
    • It is the flagship programme of the Union Government with a budget outlay of Rs. 20,000 crore.
    • The main pillars of the programme are:
  1. Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure & Industrial Effluent Monitoring,
  2. River-Front Development & River-Surface Cleaning,
  3. Bio-Diversity & Afforestation,
  4. Public Awareness.
  • Ganga Manthan- It was a national conference that was held in 2014 to discuss issues and possible solutions for cleaning the river. The event was organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
  • In 2014, Clean Ganga Fund was also formed for cleaning up of the Ganga, setting up of waste treatment plants, conservation of biotic diversity of the river, and development of public amenities (activities such as Ghat redevelopment, and Research and Development and innovative projects). This fund will also be used to finance National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
  • In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned the disposal of any waste in the Ganga.

About IDEAthon

Fight Corona IDEAthon, a 2-day online ideathon, is an initiative jointly organised by MHRD Innovation Cell, AICTE, MEITY Startup Hub, InnovatioCuris and other institutions of global and national prominence offering support in terms of Technology, Knowledge, Outreach, etc., with Forge Accelerator as the Partner incubator, in the endeavour to scout for accessible and affordable technological solutions that can contain the rapid spread of infection, ease the mounting pressure and ensure a quick return to normalcy.

Challenges and problem statements have been sought from healthcare professionals, government officials and other stakeholders working on the ground and are curated under 8 different categories such as - Personal Hygiene & Protection, Awareness, Preparedness & Responsible Behavior, Medical Systems - Diagnostic & Therapeutic, Screening, etc.

During the 2-day IDEAthon, Startups and innovators shall be guided by Domain experts, Healthcare providers and professionals, Innovation experts, etc.

Online webinars, masterclasses and live one-one mentoring sessions are organized to support innovators with a focus to guide in technical design, innovation acceleration and rapid development of their prototypes

Source: TH

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