7th Ganga Utsav Celebrated to Promote River Rejuvenation

  • 07 Nov 2023

On 4th November, 2023, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) hosted the 7th edition of Ganga Utsav.

Key Points

  • Fostering a Connection with the Ganga: Ganga Utsav is a platform organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to promote a deeper connection between people and the Ganga, as well as to create awareness about river rejuvenation.
  • The Ganga's Profound Significance: Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, emphasized that the Ganga represents more than just a river; it embodies a profound emotion that resonates with people.
  • A Multifaceted Celebration: Ganga Utsav 2023 featured a vibrant fusion of music, dance, knowledge, culture, and dialogue to celebrate the Ganga and its significance in the region.

About NMCG

  • Formation as a Society: NMCG was established as a society on August 12, 2011, under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • Implementation Arm: Initially, it served as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), which was constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • Transition: NGRBA was dissolved in 2016 and replaced by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga.


  • Primary Objective: NMCG's main objective is to reduce pollution and ensure the rejuvenation of the Ganga River.
  • Namami Gange Programme: The coveted Namami Gange Programme, an integral part of NMCG, is aimed at cleaning the Ganga.
  • This involves promoting intersectoral coordination for comprehensive planning and management, maintaining minimum ecological flow in the river, and ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.

Organizational Structure

  • Five-Tier Structure: The Act outlines a five-tier structure at the national, state, and district levels for the prevention, control, and abatement of environmental pollution in the Ganga River. These tiers include:
    • National Ganga Council chaired by the Prime Minister of India.
    • Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga chaired by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti.
    • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
    • State Ganga Committees.
    • District Ganga Committees in specified districts along the Ganga and its tributaries.

Challenges Faced by NMCG

  • Land Acquisition Issues: Delayed commissioning of plants due to land acquisition problems.
  • Revised Project Reports: Some Detailed Project Reports needed revision, causing delays.
  • Lack of Local Initiatives: State Governments perceived the responsibility for building treatment plants as primarily the Centre's, impacting local waste management initiatives.
  • Funding Shortages: Despite being a Rs. 20,000 crore mission, only a portion of the approved funds have been released to states for infrastructure work, as of June 2023.
  • Municipal Solid Waste Management: Criticism for insufficiently addressing the problem of municipal solid waste flowing into the Ganga due to inadequate waste treatment infrastructure in many towns and cities along the river.
  • Inadequate Sewerage Coverage: A significant part of the urban population resides outside sewerage networks, resulting in waste not reaching Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs).
  • Improper Waste Disposal: Rubbish heaps near ghats in various towns along the river, as identified by a Quality Council of India study, indicate improper waste disposal practices, posing a cleanliness threat to the Ganga.