National River Conservation Programme: Most Important Topic for 2021 RBI Assistant Exam

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  • Building on lessons from the past, the Government of India (GoI) has developed a new & more comprehensive vision for clean-up & conservation of the Ganga, led by the establishment of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in 2009.
  • The NGRBA has been given a mandate to develop a multi-sector program ( “the NGRBA Program” ) for ensuring pollution abatement in the Ganga.
  • The NGRBA has been established as a collaborative institution of central & state governments. It is chaired by the Prime Minister, with membership comprising of key GoI ministers & the Chief Ministers of the five basin states.
  • NGRBA also has nine members representing civil society. Each of the five states has also constituted a State Ganga River Conservation Authority (SGRCA) , to coordinate & implement the NGRBA Program at the state level. The central Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has been designated as the nodal agency for the program.
  • The NGRBA is constituted under the Environment Protection Act of 1986, which gives it strong regulatory & enforcement powe
    Bago River Watershed


  • The objective of National River Conservation Plan being to improve the water quality of the major rivers which are the major fresh water source in the country through the implementation of pollution abatement Schemes.
  • It covered pollution abatement works in 46 towns along the polluted stretches of 18 rivers spread over 10 States. The Ganga Action Plan Phase-II was merged with NRCP in December 1996. Seven additional towns of Tamil Nadu were approved in January 2001 at a cost of ₹ 575.30 crore on this funding pattern.
  • In a meeting of the National River Conservation Authority held in March, 2001 under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of India, it was decided to adopt an integrated approach for the river cleaning programmes; & that all future works would be shared on 70: 30 basis between the Centre & the State Governments. Of the State share, the share of public shall be minimum of 10 % of the total costs.

Activities Covered

  • Interception & Diversion works to capture the raw sewage flowing into the river through open drains & divert them for treatment
  • Sewage Treatment Plants for treating the diverted sewage
  • Low Cost Sanitation works to prevent open defecation on riverbanks
  • Electric Crematoria & Improved Wood Crematoria to conserve the use of wood & help in ensuring proper cremation of bodies brought to the burning ghats
  • River Front Development works such as improvement of bathing ghats
  • Public awareness & public participation.
  • HRD, capacity building, training & research in the area of River Conservation
  • Other miscellaneous works depend upon location specific conditions including the interface with human population.

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