National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has started the Mission Clean Ganga with a changed and comprehensive approach to champion the challenges posed to Ganga through four different sectors, namely, of wastewater management, solid waste management, industrial pollution and river front development.


NGRBA functions include development of a Ganga River Basin Management Plan, regulation of activities aimed at prevention, control and abatement of pollution, to maintain water quality and to take measures relevant to the river ecology in the Ganga basin states. It is mandated to ensure the maintenance of minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga and abate pollution through planning, financing and execution of programmes including that of

1) Augmentation of Sewerage Infrastructure

2) Catchment Area Treatment

3) Protection of Flood Plains

4) Creating Public Awareness

Namami Gange Programme‚Äô, is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as ‚ÄėFlagship Programme‚Äô by the Union Government in June 2014 with budget outlay of Rs.20,000 Crore to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga


Main pillars of the Namami Gange Programme are:-

·         Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure

·         River-Front Development

·         River-Surface Cleaning

·         Bio-Diversity

·         Afforestation

·         Public Awareness

·         Industrial Effluent Monitoring

·         Ganga Gram 


Powers & Functions

NGRBA has the power, combined with regulatory and developmental functions, to take all such measures and discharge functions as it deems necessary or expedient for effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga in keeping with sustainable development needs. Such measures include following matters, namely:-

a)  Development of river basin management plan and regulation of activities aimed at prevention, control and abatement of pollution in the river Ganga to maintain its water quality, and to take such other measures relevant to river ecology and management in the Ganga Basin States.
b)  Maintenance of minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.
c)  Measures necessary for planning, financing and execution of programmes for abatement of pollution in the river Ganga including augmentation of sewerage infrastructure, catchment area treatment, protection of flood plains, creating public awareness and such other measures for promoting environmentally sustainable river conservation.
d)  Collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to environmental pollution in the river Ganga.
e)  Investigations and research regarding problems of environmental pollution and conservation of the river Ganga.
f)  Creation of special purpose vehicles, as appropriate, for implementation of works vested with the Authority.
g)  Promotion of water conservation practices including recycling and reuse, rain water harvesting, and decentralised sewage treatment systems.
h)  Monitoring and review of the implementation of various programmes or activities taken up for prevention, control and abatement of pollution in the river Ganga, and
i) Issuance of directions under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 (29 of 1986) for the purpose of exercising and performing all or any of the above functions and to take such other measures as the Authority deems necessary or expedient for achievement of its objectives.
f)  The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for the purpose of exercising and performing these functions and for achievement of its objectives.


Namami Gange Programme

¬†Namami Gange Programme¬†is an¬†Integrated Conservation Mission,¬†approved as a ‚ÄėFlagship Programme‚Äô by the Union Government in¬†June 2014¬†to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.

 It is being operated under the Department of Water Resources,River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.

 The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations i.e., State Program ManagementGroups (SPMGs).

NMCG is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council (set in 2016; which replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NRGBA).

  It has a Rs. 20,000-crore, centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus and consists of nearly 288 projects.


The main pillars of the programme are:

o    Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure & Industrial Effluent Monitoring,

o    River-Front Development & River-Surface Cleaning,

o    Bio-Diversity & Afforestation,

o    Public Awareness


Phases of NCGM

The First Phase: The Namami Gange has already received Rs. 4,535 crore from the World Bank as part of the first phase (valid until December 2021) of the National Ganga River Basin.

 The Second Phase:

o¬†¬†¬† Hybrid Annuity Projects:¬†The loan would fund three new ‚ÄėHybrid Annuity Projects‚Äô in Agra, Meerut and Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh for the tributaries of the Ganga.

o    Cleaning Projects: Some of the projects include spillover projects from the first phase of the mission as well cleaning projects in tributaries such as the Yamuna and Kali rivers.

o    DBOT Projects: Rs.1,209 crore is provided for the ongoing DBOT (Design, Build, Operate and Transfer) projects in Buxar, Munger, Begusarai in Bihar.

o    Other Initiatives: It would include institutional development, improving investment resilience to Covid-19 like emergency situations, performance based incentive for Urban Local Bodies and communication and management programmes.

When a new Government was elected with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, Namami Gange Project was launched in Mid of 2015. The programme was allocated Rs 20,000 crore with the objective of cleaning Ganga by 2019.


Indo-German Implementation Agreement on Ganga Rejuvenation Signed between MoWR, RD &GR and German International Cooperation (GIZ), Germany.

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD &GR) and German International Cooperation (GIZ) signed an Implementation Agreement for Ganga Rejuvenation under the Namami Gange Programme on 13th April, 2016 at Shram Shakti Bhawan, New Delhi.

‚ÄėNamami Gange‚Äô Programme, is a flagship programme of Government of India with a renewed impetus to decrease river pollution and conserve the revered river ‚ÄėGanga‚Äô. In this connection, the Indian Government solicited support from various countries to rejuvenate the Ganga. Government of Germany, with its vast experiences in cleaning and rejuvenating rivers such as Rhine, Elbe and Danube of Europe, was keen to join hands for collaboration with Government of India.

As a result of this interest, the Implementation Agreement on the Technical Corporation Project ‚ÄėSupport to Ganga Rejuvenation‚Äô was signed on 13th April, 2016 at Shram Shakti Bhawan, New Delhi between the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD & GR) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh in the presence of the German Ambassador, Dr. Martin Ney and Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Mr. Wolfgang Hannig, Country Director- GIZ (India) and Mr. Hari Har Mishra, Director (IC), NMCG were the nodal officials for signing the Implementation Agreement.

Mr. Shashi Shekhar, Secretary briefed that the Implementation Agreement covers various components, largely technical assistance and partial financial assistance for rejuvenating Ganga. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Martin Dey stressed that German Government while extending technical support for the project will focus on three major principles viz. initial focus on upstream State of Uttarakhand through identification of pollution hot-spots and eradicate pollution mainly occurring from domestic and industrial sources; adopting comprehensive and integrated river basin management approach, which includes un-polluted flow as well as continuous and ecological flow; and concentrating on urban waste management and improving the sanitation management system for better waste management practices and reduction of waste water discharge.

The objective of the project is to enable responsible stakeholders at National and State level to apply integrated river basin management approaches for the rejuvenation of the river Ganga. This will be based on Indo-German Knowledge exchange and practical experience on strategic river basin management issues, effective data management system and public engagement. The project will closely cooperate with other National and international initiatives including Indo-German bilateral projects like Support to National Urban Sanitation Policy (SNUSP) and ‚ÄėSustainable Environmentfriendly Industrial Production‚Äô (SEIP). The project duration is three years i.e. from 2016 to 2018 and the German Contribution in the project is up to EUR 3,000,000 (22.2 Crores INR). Initial actions will focus on the State of Uttarakhand, with scope of expansion to other States on the main stem of Ganga. The ultimate goal is to adopt the successful river basin management strategies used for Rhine and replicate the same, wherever possible for attaining the pristine status of river Ganga.


The key achievements under Namami Gange programme are:-

1. Creating Sewerage Treatment Capacity:- 63 sewerage management projects under implementation in the States of Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.12 new sewerage management Projects Launched in these states.Work is under construction for creating Sewerage capacity of 1187.33 (MLD).Hybrid Annuity PPP Model based two projects has been initiated for Jagjeetpur, Haridwar and Ramanna, Varanasi.

2. Creating River-Front Development:-28 River-Front Development projects and 33 Entry level Projects for construction, modernization and renovation of 182 Ghats and 118 crematoria has been initiated.

3. River Surface Cleaning:-River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River and its disposal are afoot and pushed into service at 11 locations.

4. Bio-Diversity Conservation:- One of NMCG’s long-term visions for Ganga rejuvenation is to restore viable populations of all endemic and endangered biodiversity of the river, so that they occupy their full historical range and fulfil their role in maintaining the integrity of the Ganga river ecosystems. To address this, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Kolkata & Uttar Pradesh State Forest Department has been awarded projects to develop science - based aquatic species restoration plan for Ganga River by involving multiple stakeholders along with conservation & restoration of aquatic biodiversity.

5. Afforestation:- One of the major components of Ganga rejuvenation is ‚Äėforestry interventions‚Äô to enhance the productivity and diversity of the forests in head water areas and all along the river and its tributaries. Accordingly, Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for afforestation in an area of 1,34,106 hectares in the Ganga river bank states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs. 2293.73 Crores. The FRI DPR provides for taking up works under four major heads viz. Natural landscape, Agriculture landscape, Urban landscape and Conservation interventions.

6. Public Awareness:- A series of activities such as events, workshops, seminars and conferences and numerous IEC activities were organized to make a strong pitch for public outreach and community participation in the programme. Various awareness activities through rallies, campaigns, exhibitions, shram daan, cleanliness drives, competitions, plantation drives and development and distribution of resource materials were organized and for wider publicity the mass mediums such as TV/Radio, print media advertisements, advertorials, featured articles and advertorials were published. Gange Theme song was released widely and played on digital media to enhance the visibility of the programme. NMCG ensured presence at Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube etc.

7. Industrial Effluent Monitoring:- The number of Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) in April, 2019 are 1072. Regulation and enforcement through regular and surprise inspections of GPIs is carried out for compliance verification against stipulated environmental norms. The GPIs are also inspected on annual basis for compliance verification of the pollution norms and process modification, wherever required through third party technical institutes. First round of inspection of GPIs by the third-party technical institutes has been carried out in 2017. Second round of inspection of GPIs has been completed in 2018. Out of 961 GPIs inspected in 2018, 636 are complying, 110 are non-complying and 215 are self-closed. Action has been taken against 110 non-complying GPIs and are issued closure directions under Section 5 of the E(P) Act. Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring Stations (OCEMS) connectivity established to CPCB server in 885 out of 1072 GPIs.

8. Ganga Gram:- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) identified 1674 Gram Panchayats situated on the bank of River Ganga in 5 State (Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh,Bihar,Jharkhand,West Bengal). Rs. 578 Crores has been released to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) for construction of toilets in 1674 Gram Panchayats of 5 Ganga Basin States. Out of the targeted 15, 27,105 units, MoDWS has completed construction of 8, 53,397 toilets. Consortium of 7 IITs has been engaged in the preparation of Ganga River basin Plan and 65 villages has been adopted by 13 IITs to develop as model villages. UNDP has been engaged as the executing agency for rural sanitation programme and to develop Jharkhand as a model State at an estimated cost of Rs. 127 Crore.


The key principles identified for the Authority are:

1) Maintaining the continuity of the flow without altering the natural season variations.

2) Restoring and maintaining the integral relationship between the surface flow and sub-surface water (ground water),

3) Restoration and maintenance of the property and quality of water in time bound manner.

4) Regenerating and maintaining the lost natural vegetation in catchment area,

5) Regeneration and conservation of the aquatic and riparian biodiversity in river Ganga basin,

6) To keep the bank of river Ganga and its floodplains as construction free zone to reduce pollution sources and maintain its natural ground water recharge functions

7) Making public participation as integral part of process of rejuvenation, protection and management of the river.


Namami Gange: 5 reasons why Ganga will not be clean by 2020

 Sewage treatment

Sewage treatment plants (STPs) have been at the centre of Ganga pollution abatement. As per Namami Gange targets, STPs with over 2,000 million litres a day (MLD) capacity had to be rehabilitated of which only 328 MLD have been done. A look at the status of all the projects undertaken makes one doubt whether the government would even achieve its revised deadline. As far as sewage infrastructure projects are concerned, 68 projects were sanctioned after the Namami Gange was approved by the cabinet and only six were completed till August. Till August 31, 2018 a total of 236 projects, including STPS, had been sanctioned out of which only 63 had been completed.

Restoring the flow

There is another fundamental problem that will ensure the holy river remains dirty. A river is a self-purifying system only when water flows through it. The Ganga fails this basic test except during monsoons. So it‚Äôs not just about unclean Ganga. It is about the existence of Ganga, experts say. Vijay Dwivedi, an Allahabad-based activist, who has formed a Ganga Sena which takes up cleaning of the river regularly says that in monsoons the water level in Ganga is good enough. ‚ÄúBut you should have come in April or May. There is not even knee deep water. People graze cows, learn driving and play cricket on the surface of Ganga.‚ÄĚ Gopal Nishad, a boatman at Sangam says, ‚ÄúEven the fish die in summer due to lack of water. People coming to ghats usually don‚Äôt go for boat rides in summer and it hits us badly.‚ÄĚ

Sludge control

The river has another persitent problem that is going to be more pronounced. ‚ÄúI have a toilet in my home but the two pits under are overflowing with waste. How do I use it?‚ÄĚ says Rashid Ali of Chhapri village in Allahabad district. He and his family is back to defecating in the open near the Ganga. Other villagers also narrate similar issues and say the construction of toilets has compounded their problems because the overflowing toilets have also made their homes dirty. The damning indictment is supported by many people living in cities along the banks of the Ganga.

 Cost overruns

Cleaning up the massive stretch of 2,525 km that the Ganga traverses is a programme where regulating the finances becomes as big an issue as any other. The UP SAAP 2016 says that the Ganga basin towns would require Rs 5,794 crore just for the creation of sewerage networks in the state‚ÄĒmore than one-fourth of the entire outlay of Namami Gange.

Governance glitches

The cleaning of the Ganga requires seamless coordination between the agencies responsible for carrying out different tasks. This calls for vision and a clear-cut governance strategy. The water resources ministry signed MOUS with 10 ministries for better implementation of Namami Gange. However, till date no detail is available as to how these ministries are functioning for better convergence. 


Clean Ganga Fund

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for setting up of Clean Ganga Fund in September 2014 with the aim of using the collection for various activities under the Namami Gange programme for cleaning the Ganges.

Utilisation of funds

  • Cleaning up of the Ganges
  • Setting up of waste treatment plants
  • Conservation of biotic diversity of the river
  • Development of public amenities
  • Activities such as Ghat redevelopment and Research and Development and innovative project¬†