Pic courtesy: Uttarakhand Tourism

Namami Gange Mission is the largest integrated river mission which focuses on cleanliness of River Ganga as also comprehensive upkeep and conservation of the river. It is a Rs 30,000 crore project and has a four-pronged strategy, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on September 29 after inaugurating different sub-projects in Uttarakhand, under the broad mission that encompasses Uttar Pradesh,right up to West Bengal.

The multi-stage strategy involves:
First- laying a network of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to prevent the waste water from flowing into the Ganges.

Second, the STPs were built by keeping in mind the demands for the next 10 – 15 years.

Third – making around 100 big towns/cities and 5,000 villages along the River Ganga Open Defecation Free (ODF).

And Fourth – By making an all-out effort to stop the pollution in the tributaries of River Ganga.

The Prime Minister also opened the Ganga Avalokan Museum, the first of its kind on the River Ganga at Haridwar. He released a book “Rowing Down the Ganges” and the new logo for the Jal Jeevan Mission. He unveiled the ‘Margadarshika for Gram Panchayats and Paani Samitis under Jal Jeevan Mission’ (Guidelines for the Village Panchayats and Water Committees) on the occasion.

The Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing every rural household in the country with piped-water connection. The book “Rowing Down the Ganges” is about how the River Ganges stands as a glowing symbol of Indian culture,faith and heritage.

Modi highlighted the importance of keeping the River Ganga clean as it plays a significant role in sustaining the lives of about 50 percent of the country’s population from its origin in Uttarakhand till West Bengal.

Under Namami Gange, projects worth more than Rs 30,000 crore are either in progress or have been completed. The PM said that due to these projects the sewage treatment capacity of Uttarakhand has increased four times in the last six years.

Over 130 drains have been closed in Uttarakhand from flowing into the River Ganga. These included Chandreshwar Nagar drain which turned as an eyesore to visitors and rafters at Muni Ki Reti, in Rishikesh. The PM applauded the closing of the drain and the construction of a four storied sewage treatment plant at Muni Ki Reti.

Apart from cleanliness of the Ganga, the Namami Gange focusses on development of the economy and environment of the entire Gangetic belt. The government has made comprehensive plans to promote organic and Ayurvedic farming, a PMO release said quoting the Prime Minister.

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