A flagship programme—Namami Gange— launched on May 13, 2015, under a separate ministry under the Union water resources ministry was created for the river rejuvenation programme and the Union Cabinet has approved a budget outlay of Rs 20,000 crore for it over the next five years. This is 10 times what was allocated in previous cleaning programmes—Ganga Action Plan phases I and II. The 2015-16 budget also declared a 100 per cent tax exemption for those contributing to the clean Ganga project. But despite the new programme and huge funds, the NDA government faces criticism for doing nothing constructive on ground.
- It is an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission in the sense that it tries to integrate the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga River in a comprehensive manner and will result in socio-economic benefits in terms of job creation, improved livelihoods and health benefits to the vast population that is dependent on the river.
- Its focus is on pollution abatement interventions namely Interception, diversion and treatment of wastewater flowing through the open drains through bio-remediation or appropriate in-situ treatment or use of innovative technologies such as sewage treatment plants (STPs) or effluent treatment plant (ETPs).
- It has a budget outlay of 20000 crore rupees for 2015-20. This is a significant four-fold increase over the expenditure in the past 30 years as the Union Government incurred an overall expenditure of approximately 4000 crore rupees on this task since 1985.
- The Union Government will sanction 100 percent funding for various activities or projects under this program and the operation and maintenance of the assets will be for a minimum period of 10 years.
- It would be implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations that is State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
- A three-tier mechanism will be established for project monitoring viz., A high level task force chaired by the Union Cabinet Secretary assisted by NMCG at national level, State level committee chaired by Chief Secretary assisted by SPMG at state level and District level committee chaired by the District Magistrate.
- It emphasizes on improved coordination mechanisms between various Ministries or Agencies of the Union and State governments and will involve the States and grassroots level institutions such as Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and people living on the banks of the river in implementation to attain sustainable results.
- It adopts a PPP (Public Private Partnership) or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) approach for pollution hotspots.
- A 4-battalion Ganga Eco-Task Force, a Territorial Army unit, will be set up to bolster enforcement.