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National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG): An Overview

Why the scheme is in the news?

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) jointly held the ‘River-Cities Alliance (RCA) Global Seminar: Partnership for Building International River-Sensitive Cities’ in New Delhi. The seminar aimed to facilitate discussions and exchange of best practices on urban river management among member cities and global stakeholders.

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What is National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)?

Established as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, of 1860, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is implemented by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga, also known as the National Ganga Council, since August 12, 2011.


  1. The mission focuses on enhancing the performance of the existing Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and implementing immediate measures to control pollution at the riverfront’s exit points. This is aimed at preventing the inflow of sewage into the river.
  2. The mission strives to maintain the river’s natural flow throughout the year while considering seasonal variations.
  3. The mission aims to restore and maintain the natural flow of both surface water and groundwater.
  4. The mission seeks to regenerate and preserve the natural vegetation in the region.
  5. The mission is committed to conserving and revitalizing the aquatic and riparian biodiversity of the Ganga River basin.
  6. The mission aims to involve the public in the process of protecting, rejuvenating, and managing the river.

What are the Initiatives Related to Ganga?

  1. The Namami Gange Programme is a ‘Flagship Programme’ approved by the Union Government in June 2014 to effectively abate pollution and conserve and rejuvenate the National River Ganga.
  2. The Ganga Action Plan, initiated in 1985 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, was the first River Action Plan to improve water quality through interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage. The National River Conservation Plan is an extension of the Ganga Action Plan and aims to clean the Ganga River under the Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
  3. The Government of India established the National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA) in 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. In 2008, Ganga was declared the ‘National River’ of India.
  4. The Clean Ganga Fund was established in 2014 to clean up the Ganga, set up waste treatment plants, and conserve the biotic diversity of the river.
  5. The Bhuvan-Ganga Web App ensures public involvement in monitoring pollution entering the river Ganga.
    In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned waste disposal in the Ganga.

Way Forward

  1. The Namami Gange Programme, through the ‘Arth Ganga’ initiative, aims to link people with the Ganga River by monetizing sludge and treated water.
  2. The Ganga Clean initiative emphasizes the importance of creating awareness and community-led efforts. It highlights the economic benefits of the river alongside its cultural and spiritual significance.
  3. Effective communication is crucial to bring about social and behavioral change in the younger generation, which is necessary for the success of the Namami Gange Programme.
  4. Targeted dissemination of information is essential to achieve the desired change. The ultimate goal is to create a generation with a consciousness of cleanliness, which will lead to the automatic improvement of other aspects.

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