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Plans To Revive Adi Ganga


Recently, plans to revive Adi Ganga (the original channel of River Ganga passing through the city of Kolkata) have been announced.

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga has allocated around Rs 650 crore to revive the ancient river and it has been included in a multi-country South Asian River project on combating pollution.


GS II: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Issues and developments related to Adi Ganga
  2. About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

Issues and developments related to Adi Ganga

  • Adi Ganga, a once-thriving river that served as the main channel of the Ganga till the 17th century, has been neglected for decades, leading to severe pollution and encroachment.
  •  Despite efforts to remove encroachments, the river’s status remains bleak. However, the West Bengal government has been directed to rejuvenate the river by 2025.
Encroachment History:
  • Adi Ganga has a long history of encroachment, with the choking of the river severely impacting the natural drainage of the area.
  • Despite a 1998 Calcutta High Court order to remove all encroachments, a report two decades later showed that the encroachments still existed.
Current Status:
  • Adi Ganga’s water quality has drastically deteriorated, turning the river into a sewer with a high load of faecal bacteria and zero dissolved oxygen.
  • This dire situation poses a significant threat to the environment and public health.
  • To address the situation, the National Green Tribunal has directed the West Bengal government to complete the river’s rejuvenation by September 30, 2025.
  • The river was also chosen for a pollution study during an international water conference, highlighting the urgency of the situation.
  • The government must take immediate action to restore the river to its former glory and ensure the well-being of its citizens.

About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
  • The government had set up the Clean Ganga Fund in 2014 – Using the funded money to finance NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga 2011), cleaning the river, setting up Waste Treatment Plants, Conservation of river biodiversity and related R&D projects.
  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council NGC).

The NMCG now has the status of an Authority and its key focus would be maintaining required ecological flows in the Ganga, abate pollution through planning, financing and execution of programmes including that of –

  • Augmentation of Sewerage Infrastructure
  • Catchment Area Treatment
  • Protection of Floodplains
  • Creating Public Awareness
Objectives :
  • The mission incorporates rehabilitating and boosting the existing STPs and instant short-term steps to curb pollution at exit points on the riverfront in order to check the inflow of sewage.
  • To maintain the continuity of the water flow without changing the natural season variations.
  • To restore and maintain the surface flow and groundwater.
  • To regenerate and maintain the natural vegetation of the area.
  • To conserve and regenerate the aquatic biodiversity as well as the riparian biodiversity of the river Ganga basin.
  • To allow participation of the public in the process of protection, rejuvenation and management of the river.

Source: Down To Earth

December 2023