At the 37th Executive Committee meeting of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), chaired by Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG, Chacha Chaudhary was declared as the mascot of the Namami Gange Programme andsome major projects in Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar were discussed and evaluated.
NMCG has been focusing on youth as part of its outreach and public communications efforts as they are the impellers of change. As a step towards this NMCG has tied-up with Diamond Toons to develop and distribute comics, e-comics and animated videos. The content will be designed with the objective of bringing about behavioral change amongst children towards Ganga and other rivers. The total estimated budget for the project is Rs. 2.26 Cr. Shri Ashok Kumar Singh, Executive Director (ED), Projects, presented the project details and shared that Chacha Chaudhary can be useful in ground-level activation for Ganga rejuvenation. Initially, the comics will be launched in Hindi, English and Bengali. Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said, “NMCG has always been into community engagement with special focus on youth and children. This association will be one more step towards it.”
Shri Dipak Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Department Government of Bihar, India presented a proposal for conserving and sustainably managing Gangetic floodplain wetlands in Bihar. The major components of the project will be Wetland inventory and assessment, Wetland management planning, Wetland’s monitoring, and Capacity development and outreach. This will be a 100% centrally funded project with an estimated cost of Rs. 2.505 Cr. The proposal aims at creating a knowledge base and capacities for effective management of floodplain wetlands in the 12 Ganga districts in Bihar to ensure sustained provision of wetlands ecosystem services and securing biodiversity habitats. He also gave an overview about the initiatives taken to conserve Gangentic Dolphins. He shared that the government is working on sensitizing local fishermen. Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, NMCG suggested that collaborating with other stakeholders like CIFRI can be beneficial in achieving the goal of conservation of Dolphins. Dr. Ritesh Kumar, Director (Wetlands), International South Asia gave a further detail on the Wetland Project.
A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for “Interception and Diversion of Drains and Sewage Treatment Works at Pratapgarh, Uttar-Pradesh” was presented by Dr. Pravin Kumar Mutiyar, Director Technical, NMCG. The main aim of this project is reduction of pollution load from Pratapgarh into river Sai along with the improvement in bio-diversity and eco-system of the river and improvement in general hygiene and sanitation. It will also add to the overall aesthetics of the area. Major components of this project will be Interception and Diversion of drains discharging into the river to existing STPs, development of 12.472 KM sewer line for connection of drains to STP (of these 7.60 KM is already built and the balance 4.872 KM is in-progress), two separate low-cost treatment processes based STPs for two different drains and an onsite low-cost treatment based on wetland technology proposed for Ramlila drain which flows parallel to the railway line. The project also includes Repairing rehabilitation of existing main pumping station, construction of intermediate pumping station and electric power substation. The estimated cost of the project is INR 39.67 Cr including 15 years operations and maintenance. This project was initially approved in 2006 but only construction of STP was completed, it was not operational. As NMCG has started working on rejuvenation of tributaries of Ganga in 2nd phase, this project was re-visited after more than a decade and started with a new approach.
Revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) for “Development of Ghat and Crematoria at Simariya, Barauni, Bihar” was presented by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) at the EC meeting. The field survey of the project location had already been done by the NBCC and it has estimated the total project cost as Rs. 11.92 Crores to be implemented in 20 months. Simariya being the birth-place of Rashtra KaviRamdhari Singh Dinkar, is of historical significance. It is believed that the poet spent a lot of time on this bank of Ganga and penned some of his best poems. This Ghat is also popular for Kalpvas, an ancient tradition in which devotees live on ghats, sing and meditate during the Magh Mela. Another ghat construction was also sanctioned at Balughat, another important place along Ganga in the vicinity of a famous temple.