leaning and rejuvenation of rivers is a continuous process, and the Central Government is supplementing the efforts of the State Governments and Union Territories in addressing the challenges of pollution abatement of rivers by providing financial and technical assistance through National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) for identified polluted river stretches.
History of the Conservation Plan
- The Central Government started the river pollution abatement programme with the launching of the Ganga Action Plan (GAP-I) in the year 1985.
- Subsequently, the GAP Phase II was launched in 1993 for pollution abatement of river Yamuna and Gomti, major tributaries of river Ganga.
- The river pollution abatement programme was further expanded to include other major rivers of the country in 1995 under the aegis of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
- Finally in 1996, GAP Phase II was also merged with the NRCP and all projects for river cleaning in the country were brought under one umbrella scheme of NRCP.
Features of the National River Conservation Plan
- Under NRCP, various pollution abatement works are taken:
. Interception and diversion works/ laying of sewerage systems to capture raw sewage flowing into the rivers through open drains and diverting them for treatment.
. Setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) for treating the diverted sewage
. Construction of low cost sanitation toilets to prevent open defecation on river banks
. Construction of electric crematoria and improved wood crematoria to conserve the use of wood
. River front development works, such as improvement of bathing ghats
. Public participation & awareness and capacity building.
- Under the NRCP, project proposals are received from the State Government from time to time for taking up pollution abatement works and are considered for financial assistance on a cost sharing basis.
- The NRCP has so far covered polluted stretches of 34 rivers in 77 towns spread over 16 States in the country with a sanctioned cost of Rs.5870.54 crore.
- A Central share of Rs.2510.63 crore has been released to the State Governments for implementation of various pollution abatement schemes. A sewage treatment capacity (STP) of 2522.03 mld (million litres per day) has been created.