NEW DELHI: For better implementation of the river Ganga clean up programme, the centre is drafting a law and has recommended replacing the existing bodies with an Integrated Development Council (IDC).
Presently, the National Council for Ganga and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) are implementing the Namami Gange programme. If the draft legislation is enacted, it would become the first-ever law on any river in the country.
The panel has recommended establishing the IDC with the prime minister as its ex-officio chairperson. Besides, it has suggested setting up the National River Ganga Basin Management Corporation (NRGBMC) to be headed by the water resources minister. It is proposed to replace the NMCG.
The IDC is proposed to have 19 members that will include Union ministers of water resources, environment, urban development, power, rural development, drinking water and sanitation, chief ministers of five Ganga basin states and five co-opted experts.
The NRGBMC would have 13 members, including secretaries of ministries of water resources, environment, NITI Aayog’s deputy chairman, central pollution control board chairperson and five experts from the IDC.
The body would function as the custodian of the river and its tributaries and as the nodal agency for the implementation of the law. According to the draft legislation, construction/ modification of dams, barrages, permanent structures on the Ganga or its tributaries and deforestation of hill slopes and notified forest areas would require prior approval of the IDC.