. It is an Integrated Conservation Mission for river Ganga, approved as ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in 2014 with budget outlay of Rs.20,000 Crore.
Main pillars of the mission
- River front development o Conservation of Aquatic life and biodiversity
- Improvement of coverage of sewerage infrastructure in habitations on banks of Ganga.
- River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River
- Industrial Effluent Monitoring
The cumulative use of pesticides has doubled in the last one decade and most of it runs off in our rivers. Agriculture along the entire riverbed should be organic.
Integration of strategies
Many of the strategies (river-linking, riverfront development projects, access to toilets, making villages open defecation free, piped water supply in rural areas, to name a few) need to integrate long-term ecological and sustainability goals.
Promote decentralised sewage treatment plants (dSTP)
Reuse treated wastewater for irrigation and empty into natural drains. For all upcoming cities, smart cities and for those, whose master plans are not in place, earmark land for dSTPs.
Develop and restore local storages (ponds, lakes, wetlands)
as permanent solutions to both floods and droughts. Only 10 per cent of water received during monsoon rainfall is harvested. Restoration of ponds, lakes and wetlands should be an integral part of river restoration and conservation strategy