National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)

 National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) is a centrally sponsored scheme being implemented by the central Government jointly with the State Government on a cost-sharing basis(70:30). The scheme presently cover identified polluted stretches of 39 major rivers in 185 towns spread over 20 States in the country.

The following pollution abatement works are taken up:

(i) Interception and Diversion works to capture the raw sewage flowing into the river through open drains and divert them for treatment . (I&D)

(ii) Sewage Treatment Plants for treating the diverted sewage. (STP)

(iii) Low Cost Sanitation works to prevent open defecation on river banks . (LCS)

(iv) Electric Crematoria and Improved Wood Crematoria to conserve the use of wood and help in ensuring proper cremation of bodies brought to the buring ghats. (EC&IWC)

(v) River Front Development works such as improvement of bathing ghats etc. (RED)

(vi) Other Measures like plantation, public awareness etc.

Shortcomings in Implementation

A town approach adopted instead of a holistic river basin approach before constitution of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).

(i) Increasing gap between requirement of Sewage treatment infrastructure and actual pollution load being tackled due to continuous increase in population in towns along the river banks, inadequate financial resources invested in river cleaning.

(ii) Delays in completion of schemes due to lack of inter-agency coordination at field level, delays in acquisition of land for STPs & Pumping stations, contractual problems, court cases, etc. leading to cost overruns.

(iii) Shortage of Skilled manpower and regular staff and inadequate provision of funds by the States and ULBs for O&M of the sewage treatment infrastructure.

(iv) Erratic/ non-availability of power supply for operation of operation of assets, under – utilization of STPs, in some cases , due to non-conveyance of sewage generated in the absence of upstream systems such as branch sewers & house connections.

(v) Lack of involvement of civil society in the programme.

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