Think small: on Ganga rejuvenation


What is Important?
UPSC perspective:
Prelims:Highlights
Mains:Highlights & Significance

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Why in News?

Recent data from Uttar Pradesh show that in spite of working in mission mode to expand sanitation, 87% of faecal sludge expelled from toilets in urban areas is untreated,viewed against the 2030 goal to achieve clean water and sanitation for all under the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

Background:

*The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council which was set up in October 2016 under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities order 2016.
*The order dissolved National Ganga River Basin Authority. The aim is to clean the Ganga and its tributaries in a comprehensive manner.

Highlights:

*United Nations report of 2015 estimates that 65,000 tonnes of untreated faeces is introduced into the environment in India annually.
*State support for improved housing and planned development has never been strong
*The National Urban Sanitation Policy of 2008 has not changed that significantly
*The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan promised a major shift, but it has focussed more on the basic requirement of household and community toilets in rural and urban areas
*Faecal sludge and septage is being collected from household tanks and simply discharged into drains, open land and wetlands
*Immediate investments in decentralised sludge management systems would bring twin benefits of improving the environment and reducing the disease burden imposed by insanitary conditions. 
*One immediate intervention needed is the creation of an inter-departmental task force to identify land to build small treatment systems for sludge, and to provide easily accessible solutions to houses that are currently discharging waste into open drains
*The business of emptying faecal material using tanker trucks needs to be professionalised and de-stigmatised.

Conclusion

Decentralised sludge management systems are vital to achieve clean water goals.All aspects of the business of sanitation need reform if India is to meet Goal Number 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals with egalitarian policies.A large State such as Uttar Pradesh provides the opportunity to demonstrate commitment to policy



Think small: on Ganga rejuvenation Think small: on Ganga rejuvenation Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on October 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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