Drive to Clean River

IAS Prelims 2023

Cleaning and rejuvenation of rivers is an ongoing activity. It is the responsibility of the States/Union Territories (UTs) and local bodies to ensure required treatment of sewage and industrial effluents to the prescribed norms before discharging into river and other water bodies, coastal waters or land to prevent and control of pollution therein. For conservation of rivers, this Ministry has been supplementing efforts of the States/UTs by providing financial and technical assistance for abatement of pollution in identified stretches of rivers in the country through the Central Sector Scheme of Namami Gange for rivers in Ganga basin and the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) for other rivers.  

In addition, sewerage infrastructure is created under programs like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

           As per the Provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution), the   Act 1974, industrial units are required to install effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and treat their effluents to comply with stipulated environmental standards before discharging into river and water bodies. Accordingly, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) monitor industries with respect to effluent discharge standards and take action for non-compliance under provisions of these Acts.

           Besides, in compliance of the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Original Application No.673/2018 regarding rejuvenation of polluted river stretches in the country, States/UTs are required to implement approved action plans for restoration of the polluted stretches in their jurisdiction as identified by CPCB in their report of 2018, within the stipulated timelines. As per the orders of NGT, regular review on implementation of action plans is undertaken in the States/UTs and also at Central level. 

           Proposals for pollution abatement works in towns along polluted river stretches are received from the States/UTs from time to time for consideration under NRCP and sanctioned based on their prioritization, conformity with NRCP guidelines, availability of plan funds, etc. NRCP has so far covered polluted stretches on 34 rivers in 77 towns spread over 16 States in the country at a sanctioned cost of Rs.5965.90 crore and sewage treatment capacity of 2522.03 million litres per day (MLD) has been created under the programme. Under the Namami Gange programme, a total of 346 projects, including 158 projects for sewage treatment of 4948 MLD and sewer network of 5213 kms., have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.30235 crore. This has resulted in reduction of pollution load being discharged hitherto  in various rivers and the output of the initiatives yield improvement in terms of  water quality of the rivers. Details of funds allocated and released for cleaning and rejuvenation of rivers in the country during the last three years are as under: 

(in Rs.crore)

Financial Year

National River Conservation Plan


Budget Allocated

Funds Released


Budget Allocated

Funds Released

















           This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Food Processing Industries, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.



    Source PIB