The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today chaired the 11th meeting of the Empowered Task Force (ETF) of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in New Delhi wherein he reviewed the progress of various components under the Namami Gange Programme. The Union Minister also launched the Monitoring Centre – PRAYAG – which stands for Platform for Real-time Analysis of Yamuna, Ganga and their Tributaries at National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) office in New Delhi. Prayag is a Real Time Monitoring Centre for planning and monitoring of projects, river water quality, etc. through various online dashboards such as Ganga Tarang Portal, Jajmau Plant through Online Drone Data, PMT Tool Dashboard, Ganga Districts Performance Monitoring System, etc. The Union Minister also released the comic series ‘Chacha Chaudhary ke Sath, Ganga ki Baat’.
During the meeting, Shri Shekhawat directed the officials to study the freshwater usage of different industries along River Ganga and prepare a holistic Action Plan for reuse of treated waste water in Thermal Power Plants, Refineries, Railways and other industries. The Minister on 5th January 2023 had launched the National Framework on Safe Reuse of Treated Water prepared by NMCG. The framework acts as a guiding document for framing state policies on reuse of treated water. State of U.P. informed that industries are mandated to treat their effluent and reuse it up to the extent of 80% and reduce their requirement of fresh water. It was emphasized in the meeting that the industries should gradually move to use of treated water thereby minimizing the use of freshwater.
The Union Minister also directed the officials of NMCG and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to work out a holistic strategy to clean about 2000 drains identified by NMCG in urban and rural areas. He said that a holistic plan in coordination with MoHUA should be prepared and these drains should be cleaned at the earliest under Swachh Bharat Mission. Identifying untapped drains and cleaning them is also the top agenda for District Ganga Committees (DGCs). Since the launch of ‘Digital Dashboard for DGCs Performance Monitoring System’ in April 2022, the performance of DGCs has improved. Between April 2022 to March 2023, a total of 1,157 Monthly Meetings were conducted and Meeting minutes uploaded. In Uttar Pradesh, which has the maximum number of DGCs (75), 741 meetings were held. A maximum of 112 meetings were held during the month of Jan 2023. The Minister also urged the official from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to expedite the work on Project Dolphin.
The Union Minister was informed that for developing new tourist destinations along Ganga under the Arth Ganga campaign, a report by INTACH has been shared with all the concerned District Ganga Committees (DGCs). Emphasis was made on development of Arth Ganga trails, home-stays, guide training etc. Besides, agreements (MoU) have also been signed with Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture in December 2022 for promotion of Arth Ganga.
It was also informed that under the Namami Gange programme for the last four years, concerted efforts are being made towards the Hilsa fish conservation and ranching programme upstream of the Farakka barrage in Ganga by CIFRI. Ranched fishes are being tagged to understand the migration and the study shows the migration of Hilsa fish up to Mirzapur. Ranching is helping with livelihood generation for the fishermen community in the Ganga Basin.
The Ministry of Culture informed that an action plan to hold ‘Ganga Sanskriti Yatra’ has been formulated. The Yatra will pass through the States of Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar and West Bengal. The proposed Yatra will start from Gangotri in Uttarakhand and terminate at Ganga Sagar in West Bengal, showcasing the cultural heritage of Ganga at more than 100 different venues from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar.
For promotion of Natural Farming, it was informed that a series of workshops are being organized in coordination with State Agriculture Department and NCONF. Recently, NMCG organized one-day workshops in Bulandshahar, Bijnor, Hastinapur, Saran, Bhojpur, Buxar and Samastipur.
The meeting was attended by Shri Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (DoWR, RD & GR), Ministry of Jal Shakti and Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG along with Senior officials from central ministries, departments and concerned state governments.
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