New Delhi: With an aim to spread awareness about the cleanliness and rejuvenation of the River Ganga, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), has decided to rope in popular Hindi comic book character 'Chacha Chaudhary' for its outreach activities, especially among the children.
The decision was taken at the 37th executive committee meeting of NMCG on Friday (October 1). Some major projects in Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar were also discussed and evaluated in the meeting chaired by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of NMCG.
NMCG has been focusing on youth as part of its outreach and public communications efforts, as they are the impellers of change. NMCG has tied up with Diamond Toons to develop and distribute comics, e-comics and animated videos as a step towards this.
The content will be designed to bring behavioural change amongst children towards Ganga and other rivers.
Ashok Kumar Singh, Executive Director (ED), Projects at NMCG, said, "The total estimated budget for the project is Rs 2.26 crores."
He presented the project details and shared that Chacha Chaudhary can be useful in ground-level activation for Ganga rejuvenation. Initially, the comics will be launched in Hindi, English and Bengali.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said, "NMCG has always been into community engagement with special focus on youth and children. This association will be one more step towards it."
"Ganga ki Baat Chacha Chaudhary Ke Sath" is a public engagement activity under the overall public outreach activities of the Namami Gange mission.
Dipak Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, presented a proposal for conserving and sustainably managing Gangetic floodplain wetlands in Bihar.
The major components of the project will be Wetland inventory and assessment, Wetland management planning, Wetland's monitoring, and Capacity development and outreach.
This will be a 100 per cent centrally funded project with an estimated cost of Rs 2.505 crore.
The proposal aims to create a knowledge base and capacities for effective management of floodplain wetlands in the 12 Ganga districts in Bihar to ensure the sustained provision of wetlands ecosystem services and securing biodiversity habitats.
He also gave an overview of the initiatives taken to conserve Gangetic Dolphins and shared that the government is working on sensitising local fishermen.
Mishra suggested that collaborating with other stakeholders like CIFRI can be beneficial in achieving the goal of conservation of Dolphins.
Dr Ritesh Kumar, Wetlands Director, gave further detail on the wetland project.
Dr Pravin Kumar Mutiyar, Director Technical, NMCG, also presented a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for "Interception and Diversion of Drains and Sewage Treatment Works at Pratapgarh, Uttar-Pradesh".
The project aims to the reduction of pollution load from Pratapgarh into river Sai along with the improvement in biodiversity and ecosystem of the river and improvement in general hygiene and sanitation. It will also add to the overall aesthetics of the area.
Major components of this project will be Interception and Diversion of drains discharging into the river to existing STPs, development of 12.472 KM sewer line for connection of drains to STP (of this 7.60 KM is already built and balance 4.872 KM is in progress), two separate low-cost treatment processes based STPs for two different drains and a low-cost onsite treatment based on wetland technology proposed for Ramlila drain, which flows parallel to the railway line.
The project also includes repairing rehabilitation of existing main pumping station, construction of intermediate pumping station and electric power substation. The estimated cost of the project is INR 39.67 Cr, including 15 years of operations and maintenance. This project was initially approved in 2006, but only the construction of STP was completed. It was not operational.
As NMCG has started working on rejuvenation of tributaries of Ganga in the 2nd phase, this project was re-visited after more than a decade and started with a new approach.
Revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) for "Development of Ghat and Crematoria at Simariya, Barauni, Bihar" was presented by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) at the EC meeting.
The NBCC already did the field survey of the project location, and it has estimated the total project cost as Rs. 11.92 Crores to be implemented in 20 months. Simariya being the birth-place of Rashtra Kavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, is of historical significance.
It is believed that the poet spent a lot of time on this bank of Ganga penned some of the best poems.
This Ghat is also popular for Kalpvas, an ancient tradition in which devotees live on ghats, sing and meditate during the Magh Mela. Another ghat construction was also sanctioned at Balu ghat, another important place along Ganga in the vicinity of the famous temple.
Rozy Aggrawal, ED (Finance) and DP Mathuria, ED (Technical), NMCG also participated in the meeting along with the officials from states and other executive agencies.