Environment

Centre looks abroad for ideas to manage Ganga basin

Photo: Twitter/@cleanganganmcg

Photo: Twitter/@cleanganganmcg  

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The Centre is in talks with experts from Germany, Laos, Austria and Egypt, among others, to evolve a Ganga River Basin Management Plan. Though it already has a preliminary draft from a consortium of seven Indian Institutes of Technology, it is the process of soliciting wider consultation from countries that have such river basin management plans.

At a two-day workshop organised by German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the Centre discussed the experiences of countries in managing rivers such as the Danube, Rhine, Mekong — all of which flowed through multiple countries. “Right now the focus, as far as the Ganga is concerned, is on fixing the sources of pollution. However cleaning is a continuous process…we also need to think of its future,” said Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director-General, NMCG.

 

There is already a draft ‘Ganga law’ in the anvil that is meant to ensure the health and ecological viability of the river. This, however, is still being deliberated by various ministries and, according to officials, is being readied for the approval of the Union Cabinet before the year ends. “The river basin plan is much more comprehensive…the Act generally looks at matters of fines and violations,” said Mr. Mishra.

An early draft of the Ganga River Basin Management Plan analysed the river in terms of environmental quality and pollution; water resources management; fluvial geomorphology; ecology and biodiversity; socio-economic and socio-cultural; policy, law and governance and geo-spatial database management. Based on these, seven important missions were identified for focused interventions: “Aviral Dhara”, “Nirmal Dhara”, “Ecological Restoration”, “Geological Safeguarding”, “Disaster Management”, “Sustainable Agriculture”, and “Environmental Knowledge-Building and Sensitisation.”

Separately, the government is mulling another draft bill to manage all rivers basis the basins they encompass. These had led to differences among states on who had a greater say on rivers that were shared in common.

The inter-State basins to be covered under the proposed legislation are Brahmaputra, Barak and other rivers in the North East; Brahmani-Baitarini; Cauvery; Ganga; Godavari; Indus; Krishna; Mahanadi; Mahi; Narmada; Pennar; Subarnarekha and Tapti.

Each authority will have a governing council, to be made of the chief ministers and water ministers of the basin States. Every year the council would be chaired by one of the chief ministers.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:06:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/centre-looks-abroad-for-ideas-to-manage-ganga-basin/article25587770.ece

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