Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Jal Shakti
23 MAR 2023 6:13PM by PIB Delhi
Important Interventions Under ‘Arth Ganga’ Project

Arth Ganga is a sustainable viable economic model conceptualized under "Namami-Gange" program to integrate people in the basin with Ganga Rejuvenation. A number of initiatives have been taken by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under this Arth-Ganga concept, in co-ordination with many Ministries/ Departments of Central and state governments and even NGOs. There are six key verticals of intervention in the model, namely:

  1. Promotion of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), which includes promotion of Natural Farming in Ganga Basin.

  2. Monetization and reuse of treated wastewater and sludge. It refers to reuse of treated wastewater by ULBs for generation of revenue and conversion of sludge into usable products such as manure, pavers and bricks for revenue generation as well as safe disposal of sludge.

  3. Development of Livelihood generation opportunities through activities like ‘Ghat Main Haat’ for sale of local products of Ganga cities/towns along riverbanks; self-sustaining of Ghats and capacity building trainings of Ganga Praharis etc. Jalaj units for income generation activities for Ganga Praharis have been set up in many locations.

  4. Encouragement of Public Participation through organizing regular events such as Ganga Aartis, cleanliness drives, Ganga Guide Trainings, Yoga on Ghat, Ghat Pe Haat etc. in coordination with District Ganga Committees.

  5. Promotion of Cultural heritage and tourism by development of small local tourism and cultural circuits; introduction of boat tourism through community jetties; promotion of yoga and wellness, medical tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, enhancement of cultural connection with the river through aartis & Ganga trails;

  6. Institution Building through setting up of decentralized monitoring and governance units like District Ganga Committees (DGCs); enhancement of the capacities of DGCs and other local administration institutions for better water governance and sustenance of the projects, post asset handover.

Under one of the verticals i.e. Promotion of Cultural heritage and tourism, NMCG has signed an MoU with Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture to develop tourism in Ganga basin under Arth Ganga. The details are:
i.      Under PRASHAD scheme of Ministry of Tourism, following projects are being funded:

  • Development of Patna Sahib for Rs. 41.54 crore in Bihar;

  • Development of infrastructure for pilgrimage facilitation in Badrinath Ji Dham for Rs. 56.13 crore in Uttarakhand;

  • Development of Varanasi – Phase I for Rs. 20.40 crore in Uttar Pradesh;

  • Cruise Tourism in River Ganga, Varanasi for Rs. 9.02 crore;

  • Development of Varanasi – Phase II for Rs. 44.60 crore;

  • Development of Belur for Rs. 30.03 crore in West Bengal;

  • Augmentation of Pilgrimage Infrastructure Facilities and Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham in Uttarakhand for Rs 54.36 crore.

  1. Under the scheme for assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development, a financial support of Rs. 28.03 crore has been provided to Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for the project ‘Development of Jetties at Nine Main Points of Embarkation/Disembarkation of River Cruise on National Waterway No. 1 and 2. A River cruise in Ganga was launched on 13 January, 2023 by Hon'ble Prime Minister.

  2. Under Swadesh Darshan scheme, a project ‘Integrated Development of Eco-Tourism, Adventure Sports, and Associated Tourism Related Infrastructure for Development of Tehri Lake & Surroundings as New Destination, District Tehri’ in Uttarakhand has also been completed at Rs.69.17 crore. ‘Prayagraj’ has also been identified as a destination in Uttar Pradesh for development under Swadesh Darshan 2 Scheme (SD2.0).

  3. Development of River fronts have been taken up at Badrinath, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Patna etc were taken up under Namami-Gange and Clean Ganga Fund

In addition, Ganga Aarti is being conducted at several Ghats. Awareness and aarti training workshops are also being conducted to promote regular aartis on ghats along Ganga. Training of Ganga guides are also being held to equip required skills for promoting eco-tourism. All Ganga Basin district have also been mapped by INTACH for documenting architectural, natural and intangible cultural heritage. A number of locations have been identified for promoting tourism during Azadi Ka Arut Mahotsav.

(c) Under Namami Gange Programme, a comprehensive set of interventions such as wastewater treatment, solid waste management, river front management (ghats and crematoria development), e-flow, afforestation, biodiversity conservation and Public Participation etc. have been taken up for rejuvenation of river Ganga and its tributaries. So far, till 28th February 2023, a total of 424 projects have been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs. 35,414 crore, out of which 242 projects have been completed and made operational. A total of 132 projects are under progress and 49 projects are under various stages of tendering. Majority of the projects pertain to creation of sewage infrastructure as the untreated domestic/industrial wastewater is the main reason for pollution in the river. A total of 183 sewerage infrastructure projects have been taken up with a cost of Rs. 29,154 crore for creation & rehabilitation of 5,658 Million Litres Daily (MLD) of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) capacity and laying of around 5,206 KM sewerage network. Among these, 105 sewerage projects have been completed resulting in creation & rehabilitation of 2,173 MLD of STP capacity and laying of 4,362 KM sewerage network. In order to sustain the continued operation of the sewage treatment infrastructure, Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode has also been adopted.

(d)  The Ministries/Departments engaged for the successful implementation of the Arth Ganga Project in various States include Ministries of Tourism, Culture, Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Power, Ayush. Railways, Housing & Urban Affairs and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). NITI Aayog has also constituted a group for developing a sustainable economic development Model based on the river Ganga - Arth Ganga.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.