GANGA ACTION PLAN

The Ganga action plan was, launched by Shri Rajeev Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India on 14 Jan. 1986 with the main objective of pollution abatement, to improve the water quality by Interception, Diversion and treatment of domestic sewage and present toxic and industrial chemical wastes from identified grossly polluting units entering in to the river. The other objectives of the Ganga Action Plan are as under.

  • Control of non-point pollution from agricultural run off, human defecation, cattle wallowing and throwing of unburnt and half burnt bodies into the river.

  • Research and Development to conserve the biotic, diversity of the river to augment its productivity.

  • New technology of sewage treatment like Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) and sewage treatment through afforestation has been successfully developed.

  • Rehabilitation of soft-shelled turtles for pollution abatement of river have been demonstrated and found useful.

  • Resource recovery options like production of methane for energy generation and use of aquaculture for revenue generation have been demonstrated.

  • To act as trend setter for taking up similar action plans in other grossly polluted stretches in other rivers.

The ultimate objective of the GAP is to have an approach of integrated river basin management considering the various dynamic inter-actions between abiotic and biotic eco-system.

Notwithstanding some delay in the completion of the first phase of GAP it has generated considerable interest and set the scene for evolving a national approach towards replicating this program for the other polluted rivers of the country. The Government of India proposed to extend this model with suitable modifications to the national level through a National River Action Plan (NRAP). The NRAP mainly draws upon the lessons learnt and the experience gained from the GAP besides seeking the views of the State Governments and the other concerned Departments/Agencies.

Under NRCP scheme the CPCB had conducted river basin studies and had identified 19 gross polluted stretches and 14 less polluted stretches along 19 rivers, which include 11 stretches situated along 7 rivers of M.P.