The Minister of State (I/C) for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan today stated in Rajya Sabha that Ganga Basin is the largest river basin of the country with catchment lying in 11 States covering about 26% of the Indian landmass and 43% of the irrigable area with a population of nearly 500 million.
She further stated that the Central Government has constituted the
National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in February 2009 as an
empowered body to ensure effective abatement of pollution and
conservation of the river Ganga by adopting a holistic river basin
approach. So far three meetings of Authority have been convened on 9th
October 2009, 1st November 2010 and 17th April, 2012 respectively.
The Minister said that the Authority in its first meeting decided that
under Mission Clean Ganga it will be ensured that by 2020 no untreated
municipal sewage and industrial effluents flow into Ganga. Projects
amounting to nearly Rs. 2600 crore have been sanctioned so far under the
NGRBA for development of sewer networks, sewage treatment plants,
electric crematoria, community toilets, development of river fronts, etc
in the States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Out
of 55 sanctioned projects, 7 projects have been completed and remaining
projects are in various stages of implementation. Further, based on the
decisions of NGRBA in the first meeting, the Central Government has set
up a Standing Committee under NGRBA to monitor implementation and an
Empowered Steering Committee to approve pollution abatement projects on
fast track basis; declared Gangetic Dolphin as the national aquatic
Based on the decision in the second meeting, it has been decided to
share costs towards operation and maintenance of the assets created
under NGRBA between Centre and the States in the ratio of 70:30 and
discontinued three hydro-electric power projects of Lohari Nagpala,
Bhaironghati and Pala Maneri on Bhagirathi River.
In the third meeting it was decided that with respect to the proposed
hydro-electric projects in the upper reaches of river Ganga, a
multi-disciplinary group including the concerned State Governments
would examine the reports prepared by the Indian Institute of
Technology, Roorkee and Wild Life Institute of India for drawing up a
roadmap for further action.