Ganga Action Plan [GAP]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 30, 2022, 11:37

Many projects have been initiated and run over the years to address the issue of pollution in the River Ganga. Ganga Action Plan [GAP] was the first action plan introduced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change to improve the quality of river water through diversion, interception, and treatment of sewage. It was started in 1986 to control the pollution in Ganga though it was withdrawn in 2000.

Ganga Action Plan [GAP] - Overview

Ganga Action Plan [GAP] is known to be one of the most ambitious and longest-running interventions by the Indian government and has influenced the policies for pollution control in the country to a great extent. It was implemented in two phases and was fully sponsored by the government.

Under this scheme, Ganga was declared to be the national river of India. GAP was directed by Rajiv Gandhi while the National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA) established under the plan was headed by the prime minister in cooperation with the chief ministers of the states through which the river flows.

The idea of cleaning the river Ganga was first introduced by the Indian government in 1979 though the GAP was initiated in 1985 after a survey of the river by the Central Pollution Control Board.

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Ganga Action Plan [GAP] - Objectives

Ganga Action Plan [GAP] was officially launched on 14th January 1986 with the objective of improving the water quality and reducing pollution in Ganga. The project was designed and implemented by the Ministry of environment and forest.

Phase 1 of the project was begun in 1985 covering the states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. This phase aimed to restore the quality of Ganga water to bathing class standards and prevent toxic industrial wastes from entering the river.

Ganga Action Plan [GAP] also focused on developing new sewage treatment technology and conducting research to understand how to maintain the cleanliness and purity of the river. Phase 2 was launched in 1993 to cover seven states. The action plan was formulated for all the tributaries of the river including Gomti, Yamuna, Damodar, and Mahananda.

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Ganga Action Plan [GAP] had failed due to reasons like lack of coordination among state governments, lack of funds and staff, and lack of public participation. It was withdrawn in 2000 and the Namame Gange Project was initiated in 2014 as a flagship programme to achieve the objectives of pollution abatement and rejuvenation of the national river of India.

To conclude, the Ganga Action Plan [GAP] has been recently funded by the World Bank for its second phase. This programme has given a new direction to India's efforts in conserving and rejuvenating the river Ganga.

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FAQs on Ganga Action Plan [GAP]

Q.1. When did the Ganga Action Plan [GAP] start?

The Ganga Action Plan [GAP] began in 1986.

Q.2. Who planned the Ganga Action Plan [GAP]?

Rajeev Gandhi came up with the Ganga Action Plan [GAP]. The project has a long history, but given numerous stakeholders, ranging from different states to numerous towns and local administrations, the plan remained unable to meet its objectives.

Q.3. By what name is the Ganga Action Plan [GAP] known today?

The Ganga Action Plan's [GAP] new name is Namami Gange Yojana. Since the renaming, the project has made steady strides in collaboration with various state and local governments.

Q.4. With regards to the Ganga Action Plan, what is Namami Gange Mission?

Ganga Action Plan [GAP] is a flagship programme initiated in 2014 by the Union Government for the conservation and rejuvenation of the Ganga River with a budget of Rs. 20,000 crore.

The mission has since made progress in achieving its goals, but the standard and quality of the River still remain far from satisfactory. It is expected to take at least a few more years to see visible changes in the quality of the river.