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Progress of INDIA’S National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

(SYLLABUS RELEVANCE: GS 2: Polity and Governance)

Why is it in the news?

  1. The government launched the ambitious ₹20,000 crore National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) seven years ago.
  2. The mission aimed to clean the Ganga River and prevent untreated sewage from flowing into it.

Sewage Treatment Progress

  1. Treatment plants capable of handling 20% of estimated sewage were installed initially.
  2. Expected to reach 33% sewage treatment capacity by 2024.
  3. Projections indicate that treatment plants will handle 60% of sewage by December 2026.
  4. Sewage generation estimated at 11,765 million litres per day (MLD) in five states along the Ganga.

Collaboration with States

  1. NMCG plans to establish sewage treatment plants (STPs) capable of treating about 7,000 MLD by 2026.
  2. States are expected to set up the remaining capacity through separate initiatives.
  3. The goal is to prevent untreated sewage from flowing into the Ganga’s main stem.

Project Progress

  1. Projects to set up STPs and sewerage networks constitute 80% of the NMCG project.
  2. As of July 2023, 2,665 MLD capacity STPs have been commissioned and are functional. From 2014 to 2021, only 811 MLD capacity was completed. In the last financial year 2022-23, 1,455 MLD capacity was completed.
  3. Challenges included land acquisition and revisions to Detailed Project Reports.

Geographic Distribution

  1. Most plants have been set up or upgraded in Uttarakhand (36), Uttar Pradesh (35), and West Bengal (11).
  2. The mission is worth ₹20,000 crore, with ₹37,396 crore approved in principle.

Water Quality and Biodiversity

  1. The Ganga’s water quality now meets prescribed bathing water quality standards.
  2. Dolphin population has increased from 2,000 to about 4,000.
  3. Dolphins are now found in new stretches and tributaries.
  4. Increased presence of Indian carp indicates improved water quality.

Developing a Water Quality Index

  1. NMCG is working on a water quality index, similar to the air quality index, to better communicate river-water quality.
  2. Overall, while progress has been made in cleaning the Ganga, challenges remain in achieving the mission’s ambitious goals.



  1. Launched: 2014
  2. Total Budgetary Outlay: 20,000 crores
  3. Implementing Authority: National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

State Allocation

  1. Uttar Pradesh: Receives the largest outlay; Approximately 1,100 km of the Ganga’s 2,525-km length is in Uttar Pradesh.
  2. Other States Receiving Funds: Bihar; West Bengal; Delhi; Uttarakhand; Jharkhand; Haryana; Rajasthan; Himachal Pradesh; Madhya Pradesh.


 Significance of Namami Gange Programme
River-Front Development 68 Ghats/Crematoria projects initiated for construction, modernization, and renovation of 267 Ghats/Crematoria and Kunds/Ponds.


River Surface CleaningInitiatives for collecting floating solid waste from Ghats and River surfaces.


Biodiversity ConservationI) Long-term vision to restore viable populations of endemic and endangered biodiversity.

II) Aims to maintain the integrity of Ganga River ecosystems.


AfforestationI) Focuses on forestry interventions to enhance forest productivity and diversity.

II) Implemented in headwater areas and along the river and its tributaries.


Public AwarenessI) Organizes events, workshops, seminars, conferences, and community activities.

II) Aims for strong public outreach and community participation.


Industrial Effluent MonitoringRegulates Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) to control industrial effluents.


Ganga GramMinistry of Drinking Water and Sanitation identified 1674 Gram Panchayats located along the banks of River Ganga in five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal).




  1. Registered as a society in 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
  2. Originally acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986.

Dissolution of NGRBA

NGRBA dissolved in 2016 with the establishment of the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga, known as the National Ganga Council.

Aim & Objectives of NMCG

  1. Ensure effective pollution abatement and rejuvenation of the Ganga River through a river basin approach and inter-sectoral coordination.
  2. Maintain minimum ecological flows in the Ganga to ensure water quality and sustainable development.

Five-Tier Structure

  1. National Ganga Council (chaired by the Prime Minister of India).
  2. Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga (chaired by Union Minister of Jal Shakti).
  3. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
  4. State Ganga Committees.
  5. District Ganga Committees in specified districts along the Ganga and its tributaries.

NMCG Management Structure

  1. Two-tier management structure consisting of the Governing Council and the Executive Committee.
  2. Both are headed by the Director General of NMCG.
  3. The Executive Committee has the authority to approve projects up to Rs. 1000 crore.

State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs)

Serve as the implementing arm of State Ganga Committees.

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