Ganga Action Plan Phase - I

The activities of the GAP-Phase-I initiated in 1985 were continued During the year, the Standing Committee of the National River Conservation Authority (NRCA) under the Chairmanship of the Minister (E&F) met once to review the river cleaning programme. The Steering Committee of the (NRCA) under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests met twice to review the progress of the GAP and other on-going schemes relating to river cleaning. The Monitoring Committee of the NRCA under the Chairmanship of Member Secretary, Planning Commission met once to review the progress of various schemes and their impact on the river water quality.


Progress of Implementation

Out of the 261 schemes of pollution abatement sanctioned at a total cost of Rs.462.04 crores under GAP Phase-I, 254 schemes have been completed till 30.09.1998. The remaining schemes will attain completion in U.P., West Bengal and Bihar by 31.03.1999. The State- wise distribution of schemes sanctioned and completed is given in Table-17. The total expenditure incurred on the implementation of the programme till 30.09.1998 is Rs.449.21 crores.


Statewise and typewise distribution of schemes sanctioned and completed

Sl. No. Type of Schemes         Uttar Pradesh   Bihar   West Bengal     Total
1.      Sewage Interception           40         17          30          87
        & Diversion                  (40)       (17)        (31)        (88)

2.      Sewage Treatment Plant        12          3          14          29
                                     (13)        (7)        (15)        (35)

3.      Low Cost Sanitation           14          7          22          43
                                     (14)        (7)        (22)        (43)

4.      Electric Crematoria            3           8         17          28
                                      (3)         (8)       (17)        (28)

5.      River Front Development        8           3         24          35
                                      (8)         (3)       (24)        (35)

6.      Other Schemes                 28           3          1          32
                                     (28)         (3)        (1)        (32)

        Total                        105          41        108         254
                                    (106)        (45)      (110)       (261)

(Figures in brackets indicate number of schemes sanctioned and figures out-side indicate number of schemes completed).


Impact on River Water Quality

Out of the total sewage generation of 1340 mld from 25 class I towns (as of 1985), it was targetted to intercept, divert and treat 873 mld of sewage under GAP Phase-I. As against this target, capacity to treat 728 mld has been commissioned so far.

The water quality of river Ganga is monitored regularly at 27 locations from Rishikesh in Uttar Pradesh to Uluberia in West Bengal by reputed academic institutions such as Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL), Haridwar, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, (NEERI) Nagpur, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Patna University and Central Inland Capture Fisheries Research Institute, West Bengal. As a result of the schemes completed under GAP Phase-I, the water quality of river Ganga has shown improvement in respect of the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) which is a major indicator of pollution. The summer average values of two important river water quality parameters viz: Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) for some of the important monitoring stations on river Ganga is given in Table-18.


Summer Average values for water quality on Main stem of River Ganga

Stations        Dissolved Oxygen (mg/l)              Biochemical Oxygen Demand
                        1986            1998            1986            1998
Rishikesh               8.1             9.3             1.7             1.1
Kanpur U/S              7.2             6.7             7.2             4.3
Kanpur D/S              6.7             5.2             8.6             6.4
Allahabad U/S           5.4             7.7            11.4             4.3
Allahabad D/S           6.6             8.2            15.5             2.6
Varanasi U/S            5.6             8.8            10.3             2.9
Varanasi D/S            5.9             8.6            10.6             4.3
Patna U/S               8.4             7.0             2.0             1.2

Standards: DO-5 mg/1 (minimum); BOD- 3 mg/1 (maximum)
Note: U/S stands for upstream and D/S stands for downstream


Evaluation of GAP

A comprehensive evaluation of GAP by independent agencies (universities and R & D institutions) was undertaken in April, 1995. A cost benefit analysis of GAP was undertaken with the assistance of the Department for International Development (DFID) of U.K. The conclusions and recommendations of these studies are being used to bring about improvement in the subsequent Ganga Action Plan Phase - II and the National River Conservation Plan.


Operation and Maintenance

The provision of Rs.25.30 crores made towards the Central share for operation and maintenance of major GAP assets has now been fully utilised. With this, the responsibility of operation and maintenance of assets rests solely with the concerned State Government.

Reports received from the monitoring agencies indicate that the operation and maintenance of assets is not satisfactory in Bihar due to the inability of the State Government to provide adequate funds for this purpose. In the State of U.P., the impact of the GAP on river water quality is not fully realised due to (a) inadequate municipal infrastructure for maintenance of sewerage systems and (b) erratic power supply for operation of assets like pumping stations, treatment plants, electric crematoria etc. Operation and maintenance of assets is generally satisfactory in West Bengal.


National River Conservation Plan including Ganga Action Plan Phase - II

Through a Government Resolution dated 5.12.1996 GAP Phase II has been merged with the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). Thus the expanded NRCP covers 141 towns located along 22 inter-State river in 14 States. The total cost of the schemes is Rs.2014.39 crores. During the 8th Five Year Plan, NRCD and GAP Phase-II were Centrally Sponsored Schemes with 50: 50 cost sharing between the Central Government and the concerned State Governments. The NRCA at its IX meeting held on 12.07.1997 decided to convert NRCP into a 100% funded Centrally Sponsored Scheme w.e.f. 1.04.1997 (IX Plan). The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the 100% funding pattern in November, 1998. This decision which took retrospective effect from 1.04.1997 reduced the share of the states from Rs.1011.97 crores to Rs.237.78 crores i.e. a reduction of amount 774.69 crores. The share of the Government of India is Rs. 1776.18 crores. The Operation and Maintenance cost will be the responsibility of the State Governments.


River Yamuna

The scheme of cleaning the river Yamuna was approved in April, 1993. The present estimated cost of the scheme is Rs.509.45 crores spread over 21 towns in three States namely Haryana (12), Delhi (1) U.P. (8). Projects amounting to nearly Rs. 441.23 crores have been approved and an amount of Rs. 258.52 crores towards the Central share has been released to the State Government. The scheme is likely to be completed by March 2000. External assistance of Rs.17.77 billion Yen is available for this scheme from the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan. Upto the end of January 1999, 121 schemes have been sanctioned.


River Gomti

The scheme was also approved in April, 1993 at an estimated cost of Rs.61.11 crores. The works are proposed in three towns namely; Lucknow, Jaunpur and Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.). Works in Jaunpur and Sultanpur, which are funded by the internal resources have begun. Projects amounting to Rs. 14.48 crores have been approved. External assistance amounting to U.K. Pounds four million from the DFID; U.K was available for certain Phase- I works and for preparation of the Master Plan for Lucknow. An amount of Rs. 7.21 crores has been released to the State Governments so far, towards Central Share for preparation and implementation of the scheme. However, the DFID has now informed that they are not willing to finance the Gomati river cleaning programme at Lucknow. The works at Lucknow, therefore have to be funded from Internal resources. The Government of U.P. has been requested to forward the revised cost estimates for fresh approval of the Gomati Action Plan for Lucknow at current prices levels. The reimbursable component for Lucknow by DFID is Rs.5.66 crores.


River Damodar

The scheme of pollution abatement of river Damodar was approved by the Government in October, 1996 at an estimated cost of Rs.23.58 crores. The works are proposed in eight towns in Bihar and four towns in West Bengal. Preparatory work on the scheme has begun. An amount of Rs.24.05 lakhs has been released to the concerned State Governments till the end of January, 1999 and Rs. 29 lakhs, to other Institutions.


Main Stem of Ganga

Under this component, works amounting to Rs.617.12 crores have beeen approved for 59 towns. These works have been approved in different phases starting from July, 1995 to October, 1996. The works also cover a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for 540 odd tanneries of Calcutta to be relocated under the directions of the Supreme Court. An amount of Rs.21.52 crores has been released to the State Governments so far, towards Central share for preparation and implementation of the scheme.


Other Rivers covered under NRCP

Under this scheme, approved by Government in July, 1995, pollution abatement works in 46 towns located along 18 inter-State rivers in 10 States have been taken up. The sanctioned cost of these works is Rs.738.13 crores. The list of States along with the names of the inter-State rivers and the number of towns covered under the programme is given in Table-19.


The list of States along with names of inter-State rivers and number of towns to be covered under National River Conservation Plan

Sl. No. Name of State           Name of River(s)           No. of Towns
1.      Andhra Pradesh          Godavari                        4

2.      Bihar                   Subarnarekha                    3

3.      Gujarat                 Sabarmati                       1

4.      Karnataka               Tunga (Krishna)
                                Tungabhadra (Krishna)
                                Bhadra (Krishna)
                                Cauvery                         8

5.      Madhya Pradesh          Khan
                                Chambal                        11

6.      Maharashtra             Krishna
                                Godavari                        4

7.      Orissa                  Mahanadi
                                Brahmani                        4

8.      Punjab                  Satluj                          4

9.      Rajasthan               Chambal                         2
Total   10 States               18 Rivers                      46 towns

Projects amounting to Rs. 160.85 crores have been approved and central share amounting to Rs. 54.88 crores has been released to different states. The scheme is likely to be completed in 10 years.


Industrial Pollution

Under the Indo-dutch Sanitation Project, a common conveyance and treatment system continued to be operated for about 175 tanneries at Jajmau in Kanpur. This has helped in preventing the discharge of untreated/partly treated effluent of tanneries into river. A common effluent treatment plant for a cluster of tanneries is also proposed to set up in Calcutta under the Ganga Action Plan Phase-II.


Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for Calcutta Leather Complex under Ganga Action Plan Phase-II

The proposal received from West Bengal Government regarding UNDP funding for one of the six modules of CETP amounting to US $ 500,000 has been approved and is being finalised in consultation with the Department of Economic Affairs.


Industrial Pollution Control along the Rivers and Lakes

In addition to 68 identified industries in the GAP Phase-I, 119 units have been further identified as grossly polluting industries in the state of U.P., Bihar and West Bengal along the river Ganga. Out of these 119 units, 83 units are in U.P., 3 in Bihar and 33 in West Bengal. According to the status report by the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB by October 15, 1998, 18 units in U.P., 2 in Bihar and 26 units in U.P., 1 in Bihar and 17 units in West Bengal are defaulting. The remaining 4 units in U.P. are closed.

As decided by the NRCA in its meeting on July 12, 1997 the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)/Pollution Control Committee (PCCs) in Union Territories, were asked by the CPCB to initiate necessary action against defaulting units and send the list of them. The criteria defined for identification of grossly polluting industries was followed which include those which (1) discharge their effluents into a water course including rivers and lakes, and (ii) are either involved of hazardous substances or discharge effluents with a BOD of 100 kg/day or more or both. This resulted into identification of a total of 2026 defaulting industries from 15 states/U.Ts which included 1657 defaulters in the state of Tamil Nadu. This list has been further revised and defaulting industries are identified as 847.

The programme was further intensified and four Regional Committees of experts were constituted to monitor the compliance of the directions issued by the CPCB to the SPCBs/PCCs in this regard. A series of discussions have been held.

The criteria for identification of grossly polluting industries has been further revised after discussion with CPCB and SPCBs. The new criteria for inventorising, grossly polluting industries are as follows:


Water Quality Monitoring

Besides continuing the water quality monitoring of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Gomati, Hindon and Western Yamuna Canal under Phase I and II, water quality monitoring has also been initiated for the rivers Satluj in Punjab and Betwa, Tapti, Khan, Kshipra, Narmada, Wainganga and Chambal in Madhya Pradesh, Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and Cauvery in Tamil Nadu. Suitable institutions for taking up water quality monitoring in other rivers covered under NRCP have been identified and the process of monitoring shall be taken up shortly. All the participating laboratories involved in water quality monitoring have been subjected to Analytical Quality Control (AQC) by the CPCB. The institutes/universities carrying out the water quality monitoring have been entrusted with the additional responsibility of evaluating the performance of the sewage treatment plants set up under the GAP-1.



Resource Recovery

The programme lays due emphasis on maximisation of resource recovery from sewage treatment to improve its sustainability. These include utilisation of biogas for co-generation of power, sale of treated sewage and sludge as bio-fertiliser for agriculture. Pisciculture is carried out in most of the stabilisation ponds constructed under GAP.


Public Participation

Public participation in the schemes of GAP are sought to be achieved by creating awareness through exhibitions, seminars, padyatras, shramdans and involvement of students and NGOs. Citizen s Monitoring Committees have been constituted in States to maximise local participation in the programme. Guidelines for public participation have been prepared and circulated so that state governments may prepare suitable detailed project report for full utilisation of the amounts provided for public participation. All the river action plan states have been asked to constitute Citizen s Monitoring Committees in each river action plan town for effective implementation of the river cleaning programmes. The government have been also asked to constitute Project Monitoring Committees under Divisional Commissioners in Action Plan towns. These are aimed at ensuring involvement of local bodies and public in the programme from the conceptual stage itself.

Advertisements have been released in newspapers requesting the public to cooperate in keeping the Ganga clean. The electronic media will also be utilised for involving the common people in the efforts to keep the river clean. Films for telecasting are under preparation and a committee on non governmental organisations has been constituted for suggesting measures for improving the effectiveness of the Ganga Action Plan.


National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP)

To focus attention on urban wetlands threatened by pollution and other anthropogenic activities, State Governments were requested to identify lakes that could be included in the National Lake Conservation Plan. The activities of the NLCP include formulation of perspective plans for conservation based on resource survey using remote sensing technology and geographical studies on bio-diversity and related ecological matters, prevention of pollution from point and non-point sources, treatment of catchment, desilting and weed control.

A total of 11 lakes were identified for immediate conservation plan on the basis of pollution status and aquatic health of the lake. During the first meeting of the NLCP held on 26th June, 1997, all the participating State Government officials were asked to prepare pre-feasibility reports (PFRs) at currents schedule rates. Revised PFRs have been received for all the concerned lakes except Powai in Maharashtra, Hussain Sagar in Andhra Pradesh and Udaipur in Rajasthan.

While the Planning Commission has approved the NLCP for the IX Five Year Plan, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved in principal the proposals to take up the scheme for conservation of Dal Lake. The CCEA has indicated that it will consider NLCP in the light of a firm tie up of external financial assistance for the scheme. A few projects relating to conservation of lakes have therefore been posed for foreign assistance to World Bank. Netherlands government, OECF, Swedish Government, Austria and UNESCO. OECF funding is available in respect of Bhoj Wetland in Madhya Pradesh amounting to Rs.210 crores.


Improvement in the River Action Plan

On the basis of experience gained during the implementation of GAP Phase-I and the problems faced in the operation and maintenance of assets, several steps have been taken by the Ministry for strengthening the implementation and monitoring mechanism of the programmes.


National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board

Ministry of Environment and Forests constituted the National Afforestation and Eco- Development Board (NAEB) in August, 1992. Prior to this the National Wasteland Development Board (NWDB) was functioning in the Ministry with the mandate of regeneration of forest as well as non-forest lands in the country. In 1992, NWDB was transferred to the newly created Department of Wastelands Development then the Ministry of Rural Development, with the revised mandate of regenerating degraded non-forest and private lands, while NAEB was given the task of promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, with special attention to degraded forest areas and lands adjoining forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc.

The mandate of NAEB is as follows :

The National Forest Policy, 1988, lays specific emphasis, inter alia, on securing the participation of local communities in the management and development of forests, while meeting the subsistence needs, particularly of fuelwood and fodder, of these communities to achieve sustainable environmental development as well as forest conservation. NAEB has evolved specific schemes for promoting afforestation and management strategies, which help the states in developing specific afforestation and management strategies and eco- development packages for augmenting biomass production through a participatory planning process of Joint Forest Management. A brief description of these schemes is given below :


Integrated Afforestation and Eco-Development Projects Scheme (IAEP)

This scheme is intended to promote afforestation and development of degraded forests by adopting an integrated approach to the development of land and other related natural resources on watershed basis through the micro-planning process. The scheme is 100% Centrally sponsored. The total Eighth Plan allocation for the scheme was Rs.200 crores. The expenditure incurred under the scheme during the Eighth Plan was Rs.203.12 crores, leading to coverage of over 2,98,900 hectares. The tentative allocation for the Ninth Five Year Plan for this scheme is Rs.334.00 crores. During 1997-98, Rs.19.20 crores were released to the States under this scheme. The budgetary allocation for 1998-99 is Rs.33.00 crores. Rs.28.87 crores were released under this scheme upto 9.3.1999. So far 88 projects have been sanctioned for the 9th plan. Some more projects are under consideration.


Area Oriented Fuelwood and Fodder Projects Scheme (AOFFP)

This scheme is implemented with a view to augment production of fuelwood and fodder in the 233 identified fuelwood deficit districts of the country to meet the needs of the communities. The scheme is implemented on 50:50 sharing basis with the State Government. The Eighth Plan allocation for the scheme was Rs.158 crores. The expenditure incurred under the Scheme during the Eighth Plan was Rs.154.19 crores (Central Share) and the total area covered during the plan period was 4,04,218 hectares. The tentative allocation for the Ninth Five Year Plan for this scheme is Rs.230.00 crores. During 1997-98 an amount of Rs.29.58 crores was released as Central share. The budgetary allocation for 1998-99 is Rs.40.00 crores. An amount of Rs.26.93 crores was released to various States upto 9.2.1999.


Conservation and Development of Non -Timber Forest including Medicinal Plant Schemes (NTFP)

This scheme provides for financial assistance to the State Governments for increasing production of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) including Medicinal Plants. It has a special focus on tribeal population for whom NTFP is an important source of livelihood. It is a 100% Centrally sponsored scheme. The total Eighth plan allocation for the scheme was Rs.55 crores. The expenditure incurred during the same period was Rs.56.48 crores, while the total area covered during the plan period was 1,08,009 hectares. The tentative allocation for the Ninth Five Year Plan for this scheme is Rs. 120.00 crores. Rs.7.50 crores were released during 1997-98 and the budgetary allocation for 1998-99 is Rs.11 crores. Rs. 9.52 crores were released to the States upto 9.3.1999.


Implementation of IAEP, AOFFP and NTFP Schemes during the 9th Plan

Four key elements are being emphasized in the above three schemes during the Ninth Five Year Plan. These are: Promotion of Joint Forest Management (JFM), Microplanning, Incorporation of Improved Technologies, where necessary, during the nursery raising/plantation, and Monitoring and Evaluation of the projects. The other important features of the schemes are:



Trees and Pastures Seed Development Scheme

The State Governments are assisted under this scheme to develop facilitates for collection, testing, certification, storage and distribution of quality seeds. The objective is to generate quality seeds which would lead to the growth of healthy and better quality trees. Financial assistance provided under the scheme during the Eighth Five Year Plan was Rs.7.81 crores. The tentative allocation for the Ninth Five Year Plan for this scheme is Rs.14.00 crores. Rs.1.50 crores were released during 1997-98. The budgetary allocation for 1998-99 is Rs.2.60 crores. The guidelines and the cost norms of the scheme were revised during 1998-99. Expenditure upto 9.3.1999 was Rs. 0.98 crores.


Grants-in-Aid Scheme

In tune with the philosophy of eliciting and nurturing peoples participation, the Board provides financial assistance to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Voluntary Agencies (VAs) for afforestation and tree planting activities under this scheme. The guidelines and cost norms of the scheme were revised during 1998-99. The tentative allocation for the Ninth Five Year Plan for this scheme is Rs.12.00 crores. Rs. 1.41 crores were released during 1997-98 to 73 NGOs for afforestation. The budgetary allocation for 1998-99 is Rs.1.55 crores. Rs. 0.84 crore was released to 47 NGOs as on 9.3.1999.



Eco-Task Forces

Four Eco-Task Forces (ETFs) of ex-servicemen are being funded by NAEB. These ETFs comprise of ex-servicemen and are commanded by serving Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Commissioned Officers. Forest Department of the State Governments, in which the ETFs are located, provide technical support to the ETFs. The activities undertaken include afforestation, pasture development, soil and water conservation and other restorative works. The tentative allocation for the Ninth Five Year Plan for this scheme is Rs.24.00 crores. The financial provision for ETFs was Rs.4.00 crores during 1997-98, and Rs. 5.00 crores for 1998-99.


Twenty Point Programme

NAEB has been designated as the nodal agency at the Centre for monitoring the progress of afforestation and seedling distribution under Point No.16(a) and (b) of the Twenty Point Programme, Afforestation and tree planting activities are taken up through the schemes of Ministries of Environment and Forests, Rural Areas and Employment, Agriculture and Cooperation, Water Resources Management as also through the funds provided under the State Plans. The performance during the Eighth Five Year Plan and for 1997-98 and 1998-99 is given in Table-20.


Financial Year                     Targets                              Achievements
                        Seedlings           Area Covered        Seedlings           Area Covered
                        Distribution        (Public lands       Distribution        (Public lands
                        (for planting on    including forest    foor planting on    including forest
                        private lands)      lands) in           private lands)      lands) in
                        Nos. in Lakhs       hectares            Nos. in Lakhs       hectares
Total 8th Plan          62,585.11           55,22,201.00        55,869.67           51,56,578.09

1997-98*                11,166.10           11,46,800.00        10,335.63            9,65,638.15

1998-99**               11,166.10           11,75,000.00         8,149.07            9,72,966.40

* Tentative
** Upto January, 1999


Other Activities

Communication and Awareness

New technologies and methodologies of participatory management, eco-development and regeneration of degraded forests are being progressively developed. In order to share such experience and technologies widely. NAEB documents such developments and the related information, brings out publications, makes films, and shares these with State governments, NGOs, and all other concerned agencies. The Board has commissioned/produced 13 films so far, and has also brought out a number of publications for the purposes of dissemination.


Regional Centres

The Board has seven Regional Centres located in universities and national level institutions. These Centres help NAEB in promoting extension of replicable technologies and for dissemination of research findings. They provide technical and extension support to the State Forest Departments in preparing projects for regeneration of degraded forests and adjoining lands with people s participation, and also act as fora for exchange of ideas and experiences amongst the State of the region as well across the regions. In addition, these centres carry out problem-specific studies as well as evaluation of NAEB s programmes in the field, organize training and workshops of relevant topics. The Regional centres, and the Areas they cover, are given in Annexure - II.



Monitoring and Evaluation

In addition to regular monitoring by the State Governments and the NAEB, evaluation of the various projects directly funded by NAEB is carried out through various independent agencies such as the Indian-Institute of Public Opinion (IIPO), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCEAR), Institute for Research Management and Economic Development (IRMED), Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), non-government organisations and individual forestry experts. Regional Centres of NAEB also undertake such evaluation work. Sample checks have been carried out in 50 randomly selected districts every year since 1991-92 in respect of the afforestation and tree planting activities taken up under the Twenty Point Programme.


Swarna Jayanti Kunj Project (under IAEP Scheme)

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of India s Independence, it was decided that each village may raise a cluster of 50 trees for promoting people s participation in the afforestation programmes. NAEB has provided financial assistance to the State Departments during 1997-98 for raising seedlings of appropriate indigenous species to be distributed to the village Panchayats for planting a cluster of 50 trees. The total expenditure incurred on the above activity during 1997-98 was Rs. 5.86 Crores. The scheme is currently being implemented by State Forest Departments.