Conservation and cleaning of river Ganga is a continuous and collective effort of Central Govt, State Govts, Local bodies and general public. The Ganga cleanliness commenced in 1985 under Ganga Action Plan (GAP)-I. The GAP-I was completed in 2000. While GAP-I was under implementation, GAP-II was started in 1993, which was later merged with National River Conservation Programme (NRCP). In 2009, NGRBA programme was launched. In 2014, Namami Gange Programme, an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission was approved. Namami Gange Mission, envisaged as an umbrella programme, aims at integrating previous & currently ongoing initiatives (e.g. projects under NGRBA programme) by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive and better coordinated interventions.Under Namami Gange Programme a holistic approach has been adopted to clean the river Ganga. The various types of pollution abatement schemes taken up to clean Ganga may be categorized into core and non-core schemes. Core schemes include Interception and Diversion (I&D) of sewage discharging into the Ganga and creating treatment infrastructure to treat the intercepted sewage. Non-Core schemes include providing Low Cost Sanitation (LCS) at community and individual levels at identified locations, installation of Crematoria (electric as well as wood based improved crematoria), River Front Development (RFD) including bathing ghats, River Surface Cleaning (Surface Skimmers), Afforestation, protecting biodiversity and creating public awareness and participation.
Under Core-Area Scheme:
The treatment capacities sanctioned/created so far for river Ganga are given below:
- Under GAP-I and GAP-II 1098.31 Million liter per day (MLD) treatment capacity created.
- Under Namami Gange Programme till 20th March 2017, 145 projects are sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730.71 Crores. Out of these 72 projects are sanctioned for creation of 932.84 MLD new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), rehabilitation of 1091.00 MLD of STP and laying/rehabilitation of 4031.41 km sewer network for abatement of pollution in river Ganga and Yamuna. Till date 13 projects are completed which has created 198.13 MLD STP capacity (153.1 MLD for river Ganga and 45 MLD for Yamuna river) and laid 1147.75 km of sewerage network.
Under Non-Core Area Scheme:
- Low Cost Sanitation: Ganga Gram initiative has been conceptualized to promote rural sanitation in the villages located on the banks of river Ganga with an aim to reduce the pollution load on the river Ganga from such villages. The major activities included in Ganga Gram are making villages open defecation free, management of village solid and liquid wastes entering in the river and increasing pollution load, promotion of organic farming to control pollution from use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture, plantation of medicinal plants, rejuvenation of village ponds and ground water recharging, setting up crematoria etc. Till date, 1002456 Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs) have been constructed and 3253 villages have been declared open defecation free.
- Crematoria and Bathing Ghats: Total 34 projects having 296 Bathing Ghats and Crematoria (180 Bathing Ghats + 116 Crematoria) have been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 1132.90 Crores and these projects are under various stage of implementation. River front development projects at Chandighat Haridwar, Assi Ghat Varanasi and Patna are also under implementation.
- River Surface Cleaning: Surface skimmers machines for 11 cities, i.e. Rishikesh, Haridwar, Garh mukteshwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura-Vrindavan, Patna, Sahibganj, Nababdeep and Kolkata have been sanctioned, out of which machines at 3 locations i.e. Allahabad, Patna and Sahibganj are under operation.
- An amount of Rs. 1039.79 crore has been spent on cleaning of river Ganga during the last three years.
Water quality monitoring of river Ganga in 5 States is carried out on a monthly basis by respective State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs). The water quality assessment indicates that water quality does not meet the bathing water quality criteria in the vicinity of Down Stream (D/s) Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Garmukhteswar, D/s Kannauj to D/s Allahabad and Beharampore to Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.The annual variation does not indicate any sustained improvement or degradation in water quality and the long term trends only can show the improvement or degradation in water quality.
The summary of Water Quality as Minimum & Maximum values for criteria parameters putting together all the locations (63 locations) for River Ganga is provided below:
|YEAR||TEMPERATURE ºC||D.O. (mg/l)||pH||CONDUCTIVITY (µmhos/cm)||B.O.D. (mg/l)||FECAL COLIFORM (MPN/100ml)||TOTAL COLIFORM (MPN/100ml)|
As can be seen from the table, there is a fluctuation in the water quality parameters over the years. This information was given by Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on 27th March 2017.