14th November – India walks its green talk

Among the world’s major economies, India seems the most serious about doing its bit to contain climate change. So suggests a report released by Climate Transparency, a global non-government organisation.

Details –

Its Brown To Green Report 2019 has reportedly noted that ours is the only country among G20 nations that is close to its “pathway” chalked out towards ensuring the world’s mean temperature rises no further than 1.5° Celsius, a goal set by the Paris Agreement against global warming.

Analysis –

  • That’s a remarkable achievement. Remember, G20 countries together represent more than four-fifths of the world’s gross domestic product, so this group of 20 probably accounts for an overwhelming bulk of all carbon emissions.
  • While several other G20 states are likely to achieve their targets, the report seems displeased with the progress made by most. South Korea, Canada and Australia, in particular, are reported to be laggards.
  • The world’s biggest economy, the US, has rejected the Paris accord. The very signal sent by this appears to have weakened the world’s will to adhere to its emission-reduction agenda.

Conclusion –

The battle against climate change is a race against time—one that we can’t afford to lose. The report also lauded India for its investments in renewable energy. It’s safe to say that the country is doing a good job. Some deft diplomacy at the international level might be able to enjoin others to do likewise.

SourceLivemint

QUESTION India’s resolve to fight climate change is stronger than most of the competitive economies. How it should convince fellow developing economies to handhold against the menace of climate change?

PRELIMSBrown to Green Report 2019 is released by Climate Transparency, a global non-government organisation.

17th October – What a carbon tax can and can’t achieve against climate change?

Profound uncertainty about the impact of climate change means that estimates of the social cost of carbon have been all over the place. Consider two of the most influential estimates that were released in recent years. Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics estimated it at $85 per tonne of carbon. William Nordhaus of Yale University came up with a much lower estimate of $8 per tonne. It gives us some idea about the fragile nature of such estimates.

What is ‘carbon tax’?

  • A carbon tax increases the price that consumers pay for energy. What will be the price impact of a carbon tax of $75 per tonne of carbon consumed in India? The IMF estimates that a tax of this magnitude will increase the price of coal by 230%, natural gas by 25%, electricity by 83% and petrol by 13%.
  • Such steep price hikes will necessarily make such a tax a political hot potato, especially in a developing country like India, where on the one hand politically influential groups such as the urban middle class or rich farmers are the biggest consumers of energy, and on the other, people emerging out of poverty need access to cheap electricity and fuels.
  • The proceeds of the carbon tax could be used to protect the household budgets of poor families, but that is easier said than done, despite the availability of the JAM trinity of Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar numbers and mobile phones.

Need of carbon tax –

  • Economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have argued in a recent report that the world needs a global carbon tax in the next 10 years. Their recommendation is $75 per tonne of carbon.
  • The IMF team argues that such a Pigouvian tax will help limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as embedded in the 2015 global climate change agreement in Paris.

A prudent response –

  • Economists have often debated whether the best way to reduce carbon use is via higher prices or through quantity restrictions. The consensus now is that a carbon tax is the better policy response.
  • The decision of the Narendra Modi government to increase fuel taxes as well as quadruple the coal cess is sometimes interpreted as a variant of a carbon tax. Only a third of the sharp decline in global oil prices after 2014 was passed on to consumers.

Issues –

The idea of a global carbon tax will run into two problems –

  • First, it will penalise incremental carbon emissions rather those that have already been spewed into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. A homogenous global carbon tax will, in effect, impose costs on developing countries rather than those that have been responsible for most of the existing stock of pollution.
  • Second, taxes are part of national social contracts that emerge out of very specific conditions that cannot necessarily be replicated on a global scale.

Way forward –

The underlying principle should be of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities that has been recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Conclusion –

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the most serious challenges for the entire world, and the poor in countries such as India are especially at risk. A carbon tax can eventually be an important part of any mitigation strategy—from new technologies to rethinking cities to lifestyle changes.

SourceLivemint

QUESTIONWhat is ‘carbon tax’? Examine its impact and shortcomings in global fight against climate change.

First Solar Powered Train Launched | PIB Summary

Minister of Railways dedicated to the nation the first 1600 HP DEMU train with Solar Powered Coaches with a unique facility of Battery Bank.

Details

  • The entire electrical need of the coaches for Lighting, Fans and Information Display System will be met from the Solar Energy produced from the solar panels fitted in the roofs of coaches.
  • While this train has been manufactured by the Coach Factory of Indian Railways namely Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, its Solar panels and Solar systems have been developed and fitted by Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF) Delhi.
  • This first rake has been commissioned and based at Shakurbasti DEMU shed in Delhi of Northern Railway. Twenty-four more coaches will be fitted with this system within the next 6 months. The first rake will be put in the commercial service over the suburban railway system of Delhi division of Northern Railway.

DEMU Trains

  • Normally, DEMU trains provide power for its passenger comfort systems – lights and fans – from a diesel driven generator fitted on its Driving Power Car (DPC).
  • IROAF has developed this system with a smart MPPT inverter which optimises power generation on a moving train to cater to full load even during the night.
  • The unique feature of Battery Bank through storage battery ensures sufficient electricity when the sunlight is not available.
  • The system helps in reducing Diesel consumption of the DPC and hence reduces carbon signature of these commuter trains by reducing CO2 generation by 9 Tonnes per coach per year.

Significance

A solar power DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 Litres of Diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs.12 Lac every year. Savings for a 10 coach rake with 8 trailer coaches will increase proportionately. These benefits will continue for entire 25 years’ life time of the rake. This will help in making DEMU commuter services better, more economical and environment friendly.

Other important facts

  • Indian Railways is trying to increase use of non-conventional sources of energy. More solar powered trains may be inducted in future. Indian Railways has already made a target of 1000 MW Solar Plants in next five-years.
  • Indian Railways is also taking several others environment friendly measures like Tea Plantation, Bio-toilet, Water-Recycling, Waste Disposal, using Bio-fuel CNG and LNG, Wind Energy etc.

Fuel Supply Agreement

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) with the Letter of Assurance (LoA) holders.

Details of the Fuel Supply Agreement

  • Allocation of linkages for power sector shall be based on the auction of linkages or through Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) based on the competitive bidding of tariffs except for the State and the Central Power Generating companies and the exceptions provided in Tariff Policy, 2016. Coal drawal will be permitted against valid Long Term PPAs and to be concluded Medium Term PPAs.
  • The approved framework ensures that all projects with linkages are supplied coal as per their entitlement. This will ensure the rights of coal supplies for FSA holders and signing of FSA with LoA holders.
  • Allocation of linkages in future will be transparent and bidding based, barring some exceptions as per Tariff Policy. Future allocation/grant of linkages will be based on auction and/or tariff based bidding.  It attempts to make the optimal allocation of the vital natural resource across the power units.

Fuel Supply Agreement | Background 

  • The coal supply to the TPPs has been made as per the provisions of the New Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP), 2007. Till 2010, CIL had issued LoA for approximately 1,08,000 MW capacity and no new LoAs were issued thereafter due to the prevailing scarcity scenario.
  • The CCEA decision of 21.06.13 directed CIL to sign FSA with TPPs of about 78,000 MW capacity. The coal availability scenario has, now, emerged from scarcity to adequacy.
  • In this adequate coal availability scenario, the present policy proposes a fading away of the old linkage allocation policy and the emergence of a new linkage allocation policy based on transparent and objective criteria for the optimal utilization of the natural resources.
  • Coal linkage to the power sector is governed by provisions of the NCDP, 2007. Under the NCDP, a system of issuance of LoA was introduced wherein requests for Linkage/LoA are forwarded to MoP for its recommendations. These recommendations are placed before the Standing Linkage Committee (SLCLT) which authorizes the issue of LoA.

Fuel Supply Agreement | Benefits of the Policy

  • Coal available to all Power Plants in transparent and objective manner.
  • Auction to be made the basis of linkage allocations to IPPs; cheaper and affordable POWER FOR ALL.
  • The Stress on account of non-availability of linkages to Power Sector Projects shall be overcome. Good for the Infrastructure and banking Sector.
  • PPA holders to reduce tariff for linkage; the Direct benefit of the reduced tariff to Discom/consumers.

Boost To Transform Domestic Nuclear Industry

In a significant decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power program, and give a push to country’s nuclear industry, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)The total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW. The 10 PHWR project will result in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity.

Focus – Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)

Analysis

  • India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
  • Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come on-stream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.
  • In a first of its kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the ten new units will come up in the fleet mode as a fully home-grown initiative. It would be one of the flagship “Make in India” projects in this sector.

Significance

  • With likely manufacturing orders of close to 70,000 crores to the domestic industry, the project will help transform Indian nuclear industry by linking our goal of a strong nuclear power sector with our indigenous industrial capacities in high-end technologies.
  • This Project will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximize cost and time efficiencies by adopting fleet mode for execution. It is expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment. With manufacturing orders to domestic industry, it will be a major step towards strengthening India’s credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse.
  • The ten reactors will be part of India’s latest design of 700 MW PHWR fleet with state-of-art technology meeting the highest standards of safety.
  • The approval also marks a statement of strong belief in the capability of India’s scientific community to build our technological capacities. The design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India’s nuclear scientific community and industry. It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology. India’s record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last nearly forty years is globally acclaimed.  
  • The Cabinet’s decision reflects the Government’s commitment to prioritize the use of clean power in India’s energy mix, as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialization.
  • It also supports India’s commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change.

Local Treatment Of Urban Sewage Streams For Healthy Reuse

The Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands, Mr. Bert Koenders and Lt. Governor of Delhi, Sh. Anil Baijal laid the foundation stone to mark the beginning of work on cleaning the Barapullah drain in New Delhi today.

Highlights

  • The highlight of the ceremony was the laying of the Foundation Stone for the on-site laboratory and pilot plant and the start of the cleaning and beautification of the Barapullah Drain (Cleaning the Urban Sewage) with the unveiling of an artwork.
  • The artwork represents Indo – Dutch collaboration for the LOTUSHR project in form of two flowers – ‘lotus’ and ‘tulip’, depicting the union of Indian and Dutch strengths.
  • There are many available technologies to clean Urban Sewage from rivers. Their implementation must go ahead with speed. At the same time, new decentralised technologies need to be constantly developed and tested.

Technologies adopted

  • Some new technologies could be more cost-efficient or better implementable in our context.With this in mind, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and NWO, the Netherlands Science Agency announced a joint call for proposals for cleaning the Barapullah drain.
  • After a rigorous and robust selection process on both sides, the project “Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS)” has been finalised for setting up a demonstration plant for cleaning the Barapullah drain.

Project LOTUSHR 

  • The project Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUSHR) is an Indo-Netherlands joint project funded by Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Govt of India and NWO/STW, The Govt of Netherlands.
  • The project has stakeholders from both Academia and Industry from India and Netherlands. It is coordinated by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi with participation of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi and National Environment Research Institute, Nagpur from India while Technical University Delft is coordinating it from The Netherlands, with participation of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department, UNESCO, Wageningen University and its Aquatic Ecology Department.
  • There is also a commitment from industry, especially from The Netherlands, in terms of both cash and kind towards the project.

Objectives

  • The project aims to demonstrate a novel holistic water management approach, that will produce clean water that can be reused for various proposes (e.g. industry, agriculture, construction etc.), while simultaneously recovering nutrients and energy from the urban waste water, thus converting drain into profitable mines. Special attention will be paid to pathogen removal and removing the conventional and emerging pollutants.
  • The project will develop an innovative pilot-scale plant, suitable to cope with Indian conditions in a location specific manner. The final design of the pilot plant will be scalable and modular, to fit into the highly populated urban terrain.
  • Dutch and Indian companies will contribute to the project by sharing their existing technologies, which may need adjustments for becoming functional in the pilot plant.
  • Architects like Schulte Holding will advise on incorporating these water treatment units in urban megacities. Engineers from DDA will help in site preparation and civil construction of the pilot plant.

Water Conservation Programme | PIB Summary

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Sushri Uma Bharti launched Bundelkhand Water Conservation Programme at Bandri in Sagar District of MP

Water Conservation Programme | About

  • Ministry has prepared a master plan for artificial recharge of ground water in Bundelkhand region.
  • In UP region of Bundelkhand, around 1100 percolation tanks, 14000 small check dams/Nala bunds and 7200 Recharge pits/shafts have been identified.
  • In MP region of Bundelkhand, around 2000 percolation tanks, 55000 small check dams/Nala bunds and 17000 Recharge shafts have been identified.
  • As a part of ground water exploration, 234 wells in UP are proposed to be constructed in five districts of Bundelkhand i.e., Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Chitrakoot and Mahoba. Similarly, 259 wells in MP are proposed to be constructed in the districts of Datia, Sagar, Damoh, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur and Panna in the Bundelkhand region of the State.

Water Conservation Programme | Other initiatives

Ministry of Water Resources has taken up new initiatives under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes (NGMIS) with an objective to effectively improve ground water conditions in stressed blocks, ensure sustainability of resource both quantitatively and qualitatively, participatory approach in ground water management and institutional strengthening.

In Bundelkhand region of UP, six districts covering an area of 11851 sq km have been considered under this initiative. In Bundelkhand region of MP, five districts covering an area of 8319 sq km have been considered under this initiative.

Water Conservation Programme | ISBIG

  • The Minister informed that Incentivization Scheme for Bridging Irrigation Gap’ (ISBIG) scheme is being prepared by the Ministry with an objective to complete CADWM works along with correction of system deficiencies in canal network for bridging the gap between Irrigation Potential Created (IPC) and Irrigation Potential Utilised (IPU), improving the water use efficiency in irrigation and providing assured supply of water to every farm field and transfer of control and management of irrigation system to the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs).
  • In Bundelkhand region of UP, Betwa and Gursarai canal, Rajghat canal, Ken canal system, Gunta Nala dam and Upper Rajghat canal with target to bridge 17,1030 hact under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Jhansi, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lalitpur and Banda districts in Bundelkhand region.  In Bundelkhand region of MP Rajghat Canal Project with target to bridge 68007 ha under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Tikamgarh and Datia districts.

Water Conservation Programme | Marathwada

Similar programme for Marathwada region of Maharashtra is also being launched. Seven schemes with target to bridge 53365 ha gap between IPC and IPU are being proposed. The scheme will benefit Aurangabad, Latur, Nanded, Prabhani, Nanded, Solapur and Osmanabad districts and involve an expenditure of Rs. 250 crore. An area of 3727 sq.km in Marathwada is proposed to be covered under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes involving an expenditure approximate of Rs. 380 crore. Aquifer mapping of 9101 sq. km. of area in Marathwada has been completed. Management Plan of 7775 sq. km has been submitted to Maharashtra government. Under Fast track implementation of water conservation schemes 50 new water bodies with estimated cost of about Rs. 60 crores with tentative potential creation of 5000 ha would be taken up.

Protection of Forests | PIB Summary

India is one of the mega diversity countries in the world with different types of forests. Officially 20 per cent of geographical area in the country is under forest cover. The National Forest Policy (1988) aims to increase the forest cover to one third. One of the main approaches is the protection of forests in India.

Protection of Forests | Issues

  • According to India State Forest Report released in 2015, the forest cover has increased by 5081 square kilometres between 2013 – 2015, increasing the carbon sinks by 103 million tonnes.
  • Though Mizoram has the highest 93 per cent forest cover, many north eastern states have experienced decline in green cover. The country faces numerous challenges in implementing its policies to protect and grow forests.
  • Protection of forests is done through implementation of Forest Conservation Act (1980) and through establishment of protected areas. The Government of India has established 597 Protected Areas of which 95 are National Parks and 500 Wild Life Sanctuaries. These comprise about 5 per cent of the geographical areas of the country. Different type of forests and scrub jungles are host to the diverse wild life including the tigers, elephants and lions.
  • Due to the rising population there is enormous pressure on forest land for extraction of forest based industries and encroachment for extension of agriculture. The rising conflicts between conserving forests for generating ecosystem services and diversion for developmental project poses one of the biggest challenges in managing the forest resources. 
  • It is estimated that the demand for timber is growing at a faster speed from 58 million cubic meters in 2005 to 153 million cubic meters in 2020. The annual growth of the forest stock can only supply 70 million cubic meters of timber, forcing us to import hard wood timber from other countries.

Protection of Forests | Steps taken by Government

  • In India 67 per cent of the rural household depend on firewood for cooking. About one million deaths are reported annually caused by the fumes of firewood for cooking.  In order to address this problem, Pradhan Mantri LPG Scheme ‘Ujjwala Yojana’ is implemented by Ministry of Petroleum and Gas that provides free LPG connections to BPL families in remote rural areas. This has provided access to clean and efficient energy to a large number of families in the countryside.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has given the call to celebrate world forestry day for 2017 with the theme of ‘forests and energy’.  The emphasis is to develop wood as a major source of renewable energy, to mitigate climate change and fostering sustainable development. By developing community wood lots and delivering clean and energy efficient wood stoves, millions of people in developing economies will have access to cheap and reliable supply of renewable energy.
  • The Climate Change Action Plan and the Green India mission attempts to address the issue of development of wood energy by establishing large scale tree plantations with the help of community participation.
  • National Afforestation Programme (NAP) aims at eco regeneration of degraded forests and Green India Mission (GIM) aims at increasing the forest cover along with improving the quality of the forests, including the farm and agro forestry.
  • Under GIM, six million hectares of plantations will be established every year on degraded forest land.
  • One of the main pillars of afforestation is to regrow the forests in lieu of diversion of the forest land for developmental purposes. Both the houses of Parliament passed the Compensatory Afforestation Bill in 2016. With a provision of Rs 42000 crores, and annual outlay of Rs 6000 crores will be made available to states to facilitate conservation, improvement and expansion of forest resources in the country. This Act provides institutional framework at both central and state levels to implement the compensatory afforestation programme. Additionally, this will generate 15 crore man days of direct employment in the remote forest areas of the country helping tribal population. 

Protection of Forests | Challenges

While implementing these green schemes, India faces enormous challenges.

  • The climate change directly impacts the survival of planted saplings.
  • The extension of dry areas and desertification is another big challenge that needs to be tackled with proper interventions. 

There is need for participatory models of afforestation in which the local knowledge helps to regenerate and manage the forest resources.

Protection of Forests | Way forward

  • Realising the strength of the tribal knowledge systems, the Prime Minister said” if there is someone who saved the forests, it is our tribal communities, and for them saving forests is part of the tribal culture”.
  • He called upon the people to take the pledge to collectively work to conserve forests and increase the tree cover. More forests mean more water that benefits farmers and future generations.
  • In ancient Indian tradition the Rishis, or those who are the learned and sages get energy from the forests. According to Rabindranath Tagore, life in forest is the highest form of cultural evolution. The sages derived intellectual and spiritual energy from the forests, living near trees and water streams.

Protection of Forests | Conclusion

Though the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation has laid out ‘wood energy from the forests’ as the main theme of International Forest Day, Indian tradition assigns much higher status and value to the living energy of the forests to attain spiritual and cultural regeneration of life. This seems to be more holistic in understanding the links between forests and energy.

Fertiliser Subsidy Reforms | RSTV

Government of India has decided to fast track the implementation of the Direct Benefit Transfer system for payment of fertiliser subsidy to farmers. From the upcoming Kharif season beginning from June, Rs 70,000 crore fertiliser subsidy (budgeted for 2017-18) will be distributed to companies based on the actual sales to farmers taken on point of sale machines installed at nearly 2 lakh retail points throughout India. This would be a substantial change from the present system in which the firms are paid subsidy on the fertiliser receipt at the terminus point or any approved godown of the district. Until October 2012, the companies were getting the subsidy on the dispatch of material from their respective factories. 

Fertiliser Subsidy | Why reform?

  • Currently, it has not been calculated that how much fertiliser subsidy each farmer will actually require due to which the it cannot be directly allocated to the farmers. Government is trying to control the leakage of the subsidy which occurs because the sale does not always happen to the farmer as it is done to washing powder, plywood manufacturers or other manufacturing units who use urea as a by-product.
  • During demonetisation, the government specifically asked the fertilizer companies to create ‘Point of Sales’ because they were arguing that fertilizers had to be disbursed which was a challenge at that point of time. Thus, the aim is to take the digital route to transactions between the farmer and the fertilizer company.
  • It will also allow them to possibly track where the consumption is happening. There were reports ofleakage to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal as the sale happens in India but the product is transferred to these countries. If few farmers are buying the fertilizers in surplus, that can also be checked. It should be noted that the largest consumers of fertilizers in India are Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Fertiliser Subsidy | Issues

  • Government is not promoting ecological farming in a right manner as it is concerned with only three chemicals- NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), despite the fact that plants require at least 17 elements for their growth.
  • Although Government proclaims to promote organic farming, subsidy is being given to chemical fertilizers where there is huge discrepancy in the usage. We all know that the ratio of NPK usage should be 4:2:1, but in Punjab, this ratio is 61:19:1. Urea is cheap (in terms of price) in market so the farmers use it more often which creates imbalance and affects the yield which either goes down or becomesTherefore, the whole system of subsidy should look into overall benefits to agriculture.
  • Over-usage of fertilizer is a bigger issue than the fertiliser subsidy itself. It should be noted that in 1950, with the use of less NPK, the yield was more as compared to today’s productivity. Today, with the use of more NPK, lesser yield is being produced. Hence, there is a need to improve the organic content of the soil through organic farming or compost techniques.
  • A serious issue at hand is that the Government is selling compost at the same rate as of urea which would not push the farmers towards organic farming. It is essential that farmers should produce fertilizers in their fields through organic techniques. A cropping pattern should be followed to promote organic farming.
  • Even by efficiently subsidising fertiliser usage, we are not handling the issue at hand which is a fact that these subsidies will only help fertilizer companies to sustain their business. In the long run, farmer’s business will be affected badly because the input costs will continuously increase with outputs inversely proportional to it. Moreover, the end product is also unsafe for consumption. We should remember that instead of giving subsidies on chemicals, it is essential to incentivise those farmers who are practicing organic farming. If the subsidy is linked to productivity, it will remove fertilizer companies from the game. It is doubtful, if the corporates who rely on agri-business would welcome it if the Government tries to make such a move.

Fertiliser Subsidy | Way forward

  • State Governments and Central Government should work in tandem to encourage farmers to adopt ecological farming techniques, the momentum of which should be created through robust policies.
  • In western UP and Punjab, the farmers should be moved away from wheat and rice because the ground water has depleted to an alarming level.
  • Farmers need to be educated and taught to alter their cropping pattern and move to multiple cropping methods so as to reduce both their input costs and optimum utilisation of resources.

Ganga Rejuvenation | PIB Summary

Ganga Rejuvenation i.e. conservation and cleaning of river Ganga is a continuous and collective effort of Central Government, State Governments, Local bodies and general public.

Ganga Rejuvenation | Background

  • The Ganga Rejuvenation commenced in 1985 under Ganga Action Plan (GAP)-I. The GAP-I was completed in 2000.
  • While GAP-I was under implementation, GAP-II was started in 1993, which was later merged with National River Conservation Programme (NRCP).
  • In 2009, NGRBA programme was launched. In 2014, Namami Gange Programme, an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission was approved. Namami Gange Mission, envisaged as an umbrella programme, aims at integrating previous & currently ongoing initiatives (e.g. projects under NGRBA programme) by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive and better coordinated interventions.

About Namani Gange Programme | Ganga Rejuvenation

  • Under Namami Gange Programme a holistic approach has been adopted to clean the river Ganga. The various types of pollution abatement schemes taken up to clean Ganga may be categorized into core and non-core schemes.
  • Core schemes include Interception and Diversion (I&D) of sewage discharging into the Ganga and creating treatment infrastructure to treat the intercepted sewage.
  • Non-Core schemes include providing Low Cost Sanitation (LCS) at community and individual levels at identified locations, installation of Crematoria (electric as well as wood based improved crematoria), River Front Development (RFD) including bathing ghats, River Surface Cleaning (Surface Skimmers), Afforestation, protecting biodiversity and creating public awareness and participation. 

Ganga Rejuvenation | Core- Area Scheme

The treatment capacities sanctioned/created so far for river Ganga are given below:

  • Under GAP-I and GAP-II 1098.31 Million liter per day (MLD) treatment capacity created.
  • Under Namami Gange Programme till 20thMarch 2017, 145 projects are sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730.71 Crores. Out of these 72 projects are sanctioned for creation of 932.84 MLD new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), rehabilitation of 1091.00 MLD of STP and laying/rehabilitation of 4031.41 km sewer network for abatement of pollution in river Ganga and Yamuna. Till date 13 projects are completed which has created 198.13 MLD STP capacity (153.1 MLD for river Ganga and 45 MLD for Yamuna river) and laid 1147.75 km of sewerage network.

Non-Core Area Scheme –

  • Low Cost Sanitation: Ganga Gram initiative has been conceptualized to promote rural sanitation in the villages located on the banks of river Ganga with an aim to reduce the pollution load on the river Ganga from such villages. The major activities included in Ganga Gram are making villages open defecation free, management of village solid and liquid wastes entering in the river and increasing pollution load, promotion of organic farming to control pollution from use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture, plantation of medicinal plants, rejuvenation of village ponds and ground water recharging, setting up crematoria etc. Till date, 1002456 Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs) have been constructed and 3253 villages have been declared open defecation free.
  • Crematoria and Bathing Ghats: Total 34 projects having 296 Bathing Ghats and Crematoria (180 Bathing Ghats + 116 Crematoria) have been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 1132.90 Crores and these projects are under various stage of implementation. River front development projects at Chandighat Haridwar, Assi Ghat Varanasi and Patna are also under implementation.
  • River Surface Cleaning:Surface skimmers machines for 11 cities, i.e. Rishikesh, Haridwar, Garh mukteshwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura-Vrindavan, Patna, Sahibganj, Nababdeep and Kolkata have been sanctioned, out of which machines at 3 locations i.e. Allahabad, Patna and Sahibganj are under operation.
  • An amount of Rs. 1039.79 crore has been spent on cleaning of river Ganga during the last three years.