Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation works with three-pronged objectives to ensure effective use of Water Resources, inclusiveness and sustainability. The new NDA Government at the centre, immediately after its taking over re-orgranized the Ministry of Water Resources. River development and Ganga rejuvenation were added to it and the Ministry was re-named as Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The main thrust of the Ministry during the year 2014 has been on rejuvenation on river ganga, inter-linking of rivers and ghat development and beautification of river front besides other issues.
REJUVENATION OF RIVER GANGA
The work of Ganga Rejuvenation has been transferred to this Ministry vide Gazette notification dated 1.8.2014. Ganga and its tributaries have been brought under one umbrella. Rejuvenation of Ganga has been prioritised as “restoration of its wholesomeness by ensuring ‘aviral dhara’ and ‘nirmal dhara’ as also its ecological and geological integrity. The Union Budget 2014-15 has set up an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission namely “Namami Gange” with an allocation of Rs. 2037 crore for Ganga Rejuvenation. The plan formulated for Ganga Rejuvenation provides for ‘Short-term’, ‘Medium-term’, and a ‘Long-term’ action plan, incorporating the projects already sanctioned by National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBP). Presently, a World Bank assisted National Ganga River Basin Project (NGRBP) for Rs 7000 crore and a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted Project at Varanasi for Rs. 496.90 crore are under implementation.
National Ganga Monitoring Centre (NGMC) is conceptualized as a Nodal Centre for monitoring the critical aspects of Ganga rejuvenation, such as water and effluent quality at identified suitable locations throughout Ganga, using IT enabled systems, etc.
The Government proposes to free all villages along the banks of the river from open defecation under Namami Gange project.
Following major initiatives have been taken to rejuvenate Ganga:
National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has been expanded by including Minister (WR, RD and GR) as vice-chairman and also other Ministers concerned with wholesome development of Ganga.
Improved coordination among various ministries through Group of Secretaries (GoS) setup on 6.6.2014; The GoS has held 10 meetings and submitted its report on 28.08.2014.
The First National Dialogue i.e ‘Ganga Manthan’ was held on 7th of July 2014; more than 500 spiritual leaders of all beliefs, academicians & technocrats, NGOs & Environmentalists, and Policy makers & implementers actively participated in the deliberations. To facilitate inflow of ideas, suggestions and involvement of people, a website of NMCG has been launched on 12th of September 2014.
A committee of Additional Secretaries of Mo(WR, RD&GR) and MoEF&CC constituted to recommend on provisional environmental flow.
A Committee constituted to revise existing guidelines on sand mining by MoEF&CC.
Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun has been requested to prepare a plan for afforestation and Conservation of Flora.
In collaboration with National Medicinal Plants Board a strategy is being finalized for conservation of medicinal plants in the upper reaches of Ganga.
A project has been undertaken for identification of special properties of Ganga Jal, water quality monitoring and sediment analysis through National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
A three member technical committee comprising Director, NEERI, Secretary CPCB and Prof. Vinod Tare, IIT, Kanpur constituted to study and recommend suitable technologies for pollution abatement in river Ganga.
INTER-LINKING OF RIVERS ( ILR)
As per the National Perspective Plan of ILR, it would give additional benefits of 35 million hect. of irrigation (25 million hect. of irrigation from surface waters and 10 million hect. by increased use of ground waters) raising the ultimate irrigation potential from 140 million hect. to 175 million hect. and generation of 34000 MW of power, apart from the benefits of flood control, navigation, water supply, fisheries, salinity and pollution control etc. The ILR is a project of national importance and its purpose is to provide equitable distribution of water in the country which will specially benefit flood and drought prone areas. National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 links, 16 under Peninsular Component and 14 under Himalayan Component for preparation of Feasibility Reports. Out of this, feasibility reports of 14 links of peninsular component and two links (Indian portion) of Himalayan component have been prepared. Surveys and investigation in respect of seven other links is also complete and their draft feasibility reports have been compiled.
In 2014, first ILR project of Ken-Betwa has been initiated. The Ken – Betwa link project would have a dam on river Ken along with 221 Km Link Canal, provide annual irrigation to 6.35 Lakh Hectare, supply drinking water to 13.42 lakh people and generate 78 MW hydropower in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
A Special Committee on ILR, under the chairpersonship of Union Minister (WR) has been constituted, to oversee the work of ILR.
The management of river water system is being modernised with the use of latest technology. Hydrology Project-III is being launched with World Bank Assistance for developing Decision Support System for modernisation of Ganga and Brahmaputra Basins, as well as other uncovered parts of the country, at a cost of Rs. 3,000 crore.
An ambitious National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme (NAQUIM) has been launched entailing mapping of aquifers in an area of 8.89 lakh sq. km of the country on a scale of 1:50,000 and in 3-D. Six pilot projects of Aquifer mapping have been carried out in six areas of five States namely Maharashtra (part of Nagpur district), Rajasthan (parts of Dausa and Jaisalmer districts), Bihar (part of Patna district), Karnataka (part of Tumkur district) and Tamilnadu (part of Cuddalore district) using advanced techniques including heliborne Transient Electromagnetic surveys for faster and accurate mapping of aquifers. The data acquisition has been completed and final details will emerge after analysis of data in conjunction with other relevant scientific data to test the efficacy of technologies in mapping of aquifers in different hydro-geological terrains including identification of potential for groundwater resources. The total outlay for the XII Plan for Aquifer Mapping, a fully funded Scheme of this Ministry is Rs. 2051 crore. This will help in managing Aquifer recharge, river bank filtration and identification of critically stressed blocks as well as identification of contaminated blocks.
A World Bank aided project viz. Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is in operation. Under the project, advanced materials and simulation techniques and guidelines are being brought/evolved in the country to ensure dam safety.
The implementation of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is reviewed on a quarterly basis by the Technical Committee headed by Member (Design and Research), Central Water Commission (CWC). World Bank also reviews the progress of DRIP by conducting half-yearly review missions. So far 9 meetings of the Technical Committee and 5 Review Missions of the World Bank have been conducted.
The Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) initially targeted rehabilitation of 223 large dams in four states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The project became effective on 18th April, 2014. Later due to addition/deletion of some of the projects by the states, total number of dams under DRIP have reduced to 190 (Kerala-28, Madhya Pradesh-29, Odisha-26 and Tamil Nadu-107). State Project Management Unit (SPMU) has been created in each of the four states and Central Project Management Unit (CPMU) has been set up in CWC. CWC has also hired the services of an international Engineering and Management Consultant for assisting in the project implementation. Consultant’s sub units have also been set up in the four DRIP States to facilitate the coordination between CPMU and SPMU.
To empower communities through well informed water related database for better research, planning, development, management in the area of water resources, under Development of Water Resources Information System (DWRIS)-a Web enabled Water Resources Information System’ named as IndiaWRIS, has been undertaken. It will add 800 new hydrological observation sites and expand monitoring of major reservoirs to 120 reservoirs.
CLEANING OF YAMUNA RIVER
Government of India has sanctioned Yamuna Action Plant (YAP)-I and YAP-II schemes for river Yamuna in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and YAP-III in Delhi under financial assistance from Japan International Coorperation Agency (JICA) for taking up works for sewerage/interception and diversion of drains, Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), low cost sanitation/community toilet complexes, electric/ improved wood crematoria, etc. An expenditure of Rs. 1514.42 crore (including state share) has been incurred on YAP-I and YAP-II while YAP-III has been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 1656.00 crore.
Government of India has also sanctioned two projects for Rs. 217.87 crore for pollution abatement of river Yamuna in towns of Sonepat and Panipat in Haryana.
The timeframe for completion of YAP-III scheme, being funded by JICA for Delhi, is December, 2018 and for interceptor sewer project is June, 2015.
120 SPECIAL TEAMS START WORKING ON GANGA, YAMUNA AND RAMGANGA
Special teams set up by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation have started submitting their reports. 120 such teams were constituted to study various aspects of 118 places along the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Ramganga.
These places were located in Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar and West Bengal. These teams were asked to find out the latest position of sewage treatment plants located at these places and the types of plantation required along the rivers. The teams were also directed to find out the latest available techniques to modernize these treatment plants to obtain quicker results. Old and nonfunctional treatment plants will be replaced by new ones. These teams will also recommend necessary measures to be taken immediately to contain pollution in these rivers to Central Pollution Control Board.
A three day national conference on issues for optimal use of water resources called “Jal Manthan” was held at New Delhi from 20 to November 22, 2014. The three day event was organized by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to take up wide ranging consultations with the state irrigation ministers, Secretaries for Water Resources and a range of other stakeholders. The focus was on refining policies of the Ministry to make them more people friendly and responsive to the needs of the states.
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE AND E-BOOK OF MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES LAUNCHED
In its efforts to reach to social media, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched its official facebook page and e-book.
EXPERT ADVISORY GROUP CONSTITUTED TO RENDER ASSISTANCE TO MATTERS PERTAINING TO WATER SECTOR
An Expert Advisory Group under the Chairmanship of Shri BN Navalawala, Ex-Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, as Chief Adviser has been constituted to render assistance to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in matters pertaining to water sector.
The Expert Advisory Group will have two other members as Advisers appointed from time to time. The other members would be appointed in consultation with the Chief Adviser. The group may co-opt any other experts for a specific purpose and specified period with the prior approval of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.