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Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat chaired the 10th meeting of the Empowered Task Force (ETF) of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) on Friday.

During the meeting, the minister reviewed the progress of various components under the Namami Gange Programme as central ministries and states provided an update on the developments and mapped out their future plans. He directed them to expedite the work being done for the holistic rejuvenation of River Ganga.

Ashok Kumar, Director General NMCG informed the task force of the activities that were undertaken in the past months of the Arth Ganga. “Following the Memorandum of Understanding with Sahakar Bharati, exposure workshops and visits were organized for several farmers in Shirdi, Bulandshahar, Sonipat, Haridwar and Meerut. The farmers are being nudged and sensitized to shift to natural farming and 75 ‘Sahakar Ganga Grams’ will be developed," he said.

Kumar added that the Ghat Mein Haat initiative was launched under Arth Ganga in the Ganga Basin among other activities. “Jalaj Livelihood Model was launched at 26 locations and 15 more will be launched by 31st December."

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare informed of the steps taken to build organic farming and natural farming corridors along River Ganga.

Tourism Ministry said that a comprehensive plan is being worked out for development of tourism circuits along Ganga. “Exhibitions and fairs across 75 towns along Ganga are being planned as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav," it added.

The Ministry of Power is taking steps in the direction of reuse of treated wastewater of thermal power plants by adopting cluster approach whereas the Ministry of Rural Development is actively looking for convergence of activities under MGNREGA for rejuvenation of small rivers and protection of traditional water bodies.

Environment Ministry is mulling scaling up of afforestation activities in the Ganga belt and a detailed plan to take ‘Project Dolphin’ forward is also underway.

“In the states, the focus in the transition from Namami Gange Mission I to Namami Gange Mission II will be on expeditious completion of projects, preparation of bankable DPRs for projects in Ganga tributary towns, cutting down delays."

The states also informed that a lot of focus is being given on revival of small rivers and wetlands. For future, each Ganga district is to develop scientific plan and health card for at least 10 wetlands and adopt policies for reuse of treated water and other by products.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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