Gadkari reiterates Government’s commitment towards Aviral and Nirmal Ganga
Says draft Ganga Act sent to Cabinet for approval
New Delhi :
The Central Government today notified the minimum environmental flows for River Ganga that has to be maintained at various locations on the river.
Environmental flows are the acceptable flow regimes that are required to maintain a river in the desired environmental state or predetermined state.
Calling this a significant development, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said that the notification of e-flow for the river would go a long way in ensuring its Aviralta or continuous flow. Reiterating the Government’s commitment towards an Aviral and Nirmal Ganga, the Minister informed that the draft Ganga Act has also been sent to the Cabinet for approval.
“This is a very significant moment. The discussions on notifying e flow of Ganga have been going on for a long time. We have taken this step to ensure a minimum amount of flow in the river”, Shri Gadkari said.
The notification issued by the Government today will ensure that the river has at least the minimum required environmental flow of water even after the river flow gets diverted by projects and structures for purposes like irrigation, hydropower, domestic and industrial use etc. This is an important step taken towards maintaining the uninterrupted or Aviral flow of the river.
The e-flow notified by the Government is as follows:
- Upper Ganga River Basin Stretch starting from originating glaciers and through respective confluences finally meeting at Devaprayag up to Haridwar:
- Stretch of main stem of River Ganga from Haridwar, Uttrakhand to Unnao, Uttar Pradesh :
The above order will apply to the upper Ganga River Basin starting from originating glaciers and through respective confluences of its head tributaries finally meeting at Devaprayag up to Haridwar and the main stem of River Ganga up to Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. The compliance of minimum environmental flow is applicable to all existing, under-construction and future projects.
Existing Projects Will Comply Order Within a Period Of 3 Years
The existing projects which currently do not meet the norms will have to ensure that the desired environmental flow norms are complied with within a period of three years. The mini and micro projects which do not alter the flow characteristics of the river or stream significantly are exempted from these environmental flows.
The flow conditions in these river reaches will be monitored at hourly intervals from time to time. The Central Water Commission will be the designated authority and the custodian of the data, and will be responsible for supervision, monitoring, regulation of flows and reporting of necessary information to the appropriate authority as and when required and also take emergent decisions about the water storage norms in case of any emergency.
The concerned project developers or authorities will have to install automatic data acquisition and data transmission facilities at appropriate locations at project sites within six months. The Central Government through National Mission for Clean Ganga may direct release of additional water in the River Ganga to meet special demand as and when required.
The notification also stipulates that the concerned Central and State authorities shall implement demand side management plans to reduce water withdrawal from River Ganga by adopting good and scientific practices such as efficient method of irrigation, reuse and recycle of water including monitoring and regulation of groundwater withdrawals for various purposes.
Talking in detail about the ongoing efforts to clean river Ganga Shri Gadkari informed that many projects like ghats and crematoria development, sewage treatment plants, river surface cleaning etc. on River Ganga are in different stages of construction and assured the people of India that their dream of Aviral and Nirmal Ganga will come true once all these projects become operational.
On the issue of construction of hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand, Shri Gadkari said that views of various stakeholders are being taken and a considered decision will then be taken in this regard.