Clean Ganga mission gets Rs 20K-cr boost
The Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the fund for the government’s flagship programme ‘Namami Ganga’ launched last year.
The Rs 20,000-crore fund will be in addition to what the Modi government had earmarked (Rs 2,037 crore) for the rejuvenation of the river in its first Budget in 2014.
‘Namami Ganga’ is an integrated Ganga conservation mission under the National Ganga River Basin Authority of the Ministry of Water Resources and River Development.
The programme aims at integrating efforts to clean and protect the river with the help of states, urban local bodies and panchayats.
The approval of Rs 20,000-crore for the next five years marks a significant four-fold increase over the expenditure in the past 30 years. The Centre has incurred an overall expenditure of approximately Rs 4,000 crore for Ganga rejuvenation since 1985.
Since the overall Ganga cleaning schemes will need more money, the government will raise the additional fund by initiating a PPP model for implementing various projects, including setting up of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in towns along the river in five states -- Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The programme will be implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and its state counterparts like the State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs).
The National Mission for Clean Ganga will also establish field offices wherever necessary to implement various schemes for the purpose.