Prelims level : Environment Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News:

  • Swami Atmabodhanand, who wants natural flow restored, gets assurance on ending sand mining


  • A 27-year-old hermit in Haridwar, Swami Atmabodhanand, has broken his 194-day fast in protest against sand mining and the upcoming dams on key rivers that feed the Ganga.
  • The young ascetic, based at Matri Sadan in Haridwar, said he had decided to break his fast after “assurances” .

Not enough’

  • While the Namami Gange Mission works to prevent sewage and industrial waste from polluting the Ganga, several actvist groups have accused the government of not taking steps to ensure natural flows in the river.
  • Allowing hydropower projects in Uttarakhand, blocks the natural water flow and renders sewage-cleaning projects ineffective. “
  • laws regarding sand mining would be strictly enforced and that the Uttarakhand
  • government’s policy on hydropower projects would be reviewed,”
  • The fasting activists had demanded that all hydroelectric projects along the Alaknanda, Dhauli Ganga, Mandakini and Pindar rivers (the streams and rivers that lead to the formation of the Ganga in Uttarakhand) be stopped, besides new legislation protecting the Ganga being enacted.

Namami Gange Programme

  • Namami Gange Programme – is an umbrella programme which integrates previous and currently ongoing initiatives by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive & better coordinated interventions.
  • Government of India is supplementing the efforts of
  • the state governments in addressing the pollution of river Ganga by providing financial assistance to the states.
  • Need: Each day, more than 500 million liters of wastewater from industrial sources are dumped directly into Ganga. In many places, this wastewater entering the rivers is completely raw, completely untreated.

Main Pillars of the Namami Gange Programme are:

  • Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure River-Surface Cleaning Afforestation
  • Industrial Effluent Monitoring River-Front Development
  • Bio-Diversity Public Awareness Ganga Gram
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