Context: 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.
- The National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) and National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems’(NPCA) for conservation of rivers, lakes and wetlands in the country.
- NRCD is only providing financial assistance under the National River Conservation Plan to the State Governments/ local bodies to set up infrastructure for pollution abatement of rivers in identified polluted river stretches based on proposals received from the State Governments/ local bodies.
The pollution abatement works taken up under the NRCP include:
- 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. etc.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change is presently implementing the works for pollution abatement of rivers, other than Ganga and its tributaries.
- Since 2014, all works relating to Ganga and its tributaries have been transferred to the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Presently NRCP (excluding Ganga and its tributaries) has covered polluted stretches of 33 rivers.