Day 56 – Q 2. How far has the Namami Gange initiative succeeded in addressing the water quality of the Ganges? Critically examine.
2. How far has the Namami Gange initiative succeeded in addressing the water quality of the Ganges? Critically examine.
नमामि गंगे पहल गंगा की जल गुणवत्ता को संबोधित करने में कितनी सफल रही है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
The Namami Gange Programme is an initiative of Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR), to make villages on the bank of river Ganga ODF along with interventions dealing with solid and liquid waste management (SLWM). It incorporates activities like sewage infrastructure, ghats & crematoria development, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation, and public participation.
- Infrastructure development- Activities like sewage infrastructure, river-front development, ghat and crematoria, ghat cleaning, rural sanitation, etc. have been undertaken under this and all the villages near Ganga have been declared Open Defecation free.
- Decentralization- Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) have been accorded a prominent role in the planning and execution of the projects under the Namami Gange Programme as in case of Ganga Grams initiative.
- Mobilization of resources- financial and technological resource mobilization from the private sector is given priority. The Hybrid Annuity-PPP model has been adopted for the sewage sector.
- Knowledge dissemination and awareness building- Ganga Knowledge Centre (GKC) was established as a premiere and autonomous knowledge based institution to enhance the quality of the implementation of the Namami Ganga Programme. Besides, Ganga Vichar Manch and Ganga Manthan were launched to facilitate the participation of stakeholders for the cause of Ganga Rejuvenation.
- Unused funds- As per a report from the CAG, Government had only used $260 million of the $1.05 billion earmarked for the flagship programme between April 2015 and March 2017.
- Delays- There have been delays, lapses or complete non-implementation in areas like cleaning of the river, installation of sewage treatment plants, and construction of household toilets.
- Slow Implementation- Attributable to delays in tendering, non- availability of land, legal issues, pending approvals etc. National Green Tribunal recently slammed the government due to the stretches between Haridwar and Unnao being “unfit for drinking and bathing”.
- Financial issues- Inadequate finances and resources with local bodies cripple their ability to treat sewage produced in cities. This finds its way into the river.
- Absence of a long-term plan- The government failed to come out with a detailed action plan for cleaning and rejuvenating Ganga
- Technical and Engineering aspects- Some of the worst polluted stretches of the river are across UP, Kanpur being the worst in terms of Biological Oxygen Demand. Treating the highly toxic sludge requires advanced treatment technology.
- Poor inter-agency cooperation
- Inability to keep pace with growing pollution loads
To address the shortcomings in the implementation of the existing programmes to clean the Ganga, the proposed National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill, 2017 should considered by the Parliament on a priority basis.
Besides, as recommended by the CAG, the authorities should prepare an Annual Action Plan, align its budget estimates based on such a plan and regularly review expenditure.
Best answer: Gargi gupta