Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is running the drive which was launched on the 9thof July 2018, and the week up to 15th July was observed as ‘Shubharambh Saptah’ named “Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan” in five main stems Ganga basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. State Forest Departments of these states have been made the nodal agencies for the smooth and effective execution of the campaign. The participation from Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), Ganga VicharManch (GVM), NGOs and educational institutions has been encouraging under the Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan. The involvement of District Ganga Committees, of which District Magistrates are the Chairpersons, has given strength to the programme effectively. Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) have been designated as the district level Nodal Officers and Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) at the State level for organizing the events under the scheme.
The campaign named Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan which has been initiated as part of the Forest Interventions in Ganga (FIG) component of Namami Gange programme is significant as it aims to bring greater awareness among people and other stakeholders regarding the importance of afforestation for the task of Ganga Rejuvenation. A number of schools, colleges and departments have been requested to “Adopt a Plant” for turning this campaign into a people’s movement for more participation. Various seminars, workshops, lectures, drawing and painting competitions etc. are being organized under the scheme.
Plantation activities are being carried out with great enthusiasm all along the banks of the River Ganga with the great participation of local people. Formal events to mark the campaign have been held at over 100 locations all over. In Uttar Pradesh, the programme is dovetailed with the Ganga Haritima Abhiyan. Some of the plants which are being sown during the campaign are Kanji, Sheesham, Farmis, Jamun, Arjun, Gutal, Siras, Chhitvan, Mango, Neem, Semal, Jungal Jalebi, Gulmohar, Kadam, Sagwan, Saal, Mahogni, Ber, Bamboo, Karaonda, Ashwagandha, Curry Patta, Jathrofa, Beheda, Dhatura, Sarpgandha etc.
Ganga Vrisharopan Abhiyan Activities
This campaign is being launched in the 5 states namely – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The government has started various activities under this segment of Namami Gange Programme called as Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan which is as follows:-
- Awareness Campaign
- Public Meetings
- Cultural Programs
Getting Forest Research Institute (FRI) on board
In order to implement the afforestation project in a scientific manner, Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun was assigned the project to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the basis of which the State Forest Departments would carry out their plantation activities by the government. In the DPR a riverscape covering an area of 83,946 square kilometers (1,13,751 hectare) has been delineated along the five main stem Ganga basin states for afforestation over a period of 5 years at a cost of Rs. 2293.73 crore.
The FRI report provides a multi-disciplinary approach with potential plantation and treatment models from time to time. Considering the type of natural ecosystem, identification of native vegetation, soil conditions, and agro-climatic zones, potential models of various types have been developed under the scheme. The implementation plan aims to contribute towards the Clean Ganga Mission, particularly Aviral Dhara and Nirmal Dhara besides maintenance of the ecological and geological integrities, by improving the base flow and filtration of the groundwater pollution.
One can also visit www.nmcg.nic.in, which is the official website and can get detailed information regarding the scheme.
Ganga Vriksharopan Saptah to Plant Trees for Clean River
Ganga Vriksharopan Saptah has started from 9 July 2018 and ended on 15 July 2018. The major do’s and dont’s in this week were as follows:-
- Use dustbins for dumping solid waste along Ghats.
- Don’t dump plastic bottles in Ganga.
- Promotion of cultivation of medicinal plants across the Ganga Basin.
- Development of Eco-Skills and Capacity building training among volunteers also known as Ganga Mitras.
- Spreading public awareness among school children and local people.
- Information education and communication activities along with regular cleaning of ghats.
Survey of India will start the process of geo-mapping of Ganges and adjoining areas by using advanced technologies. All the information of Ganga river will be collected essential for the clean river.
How Trees Help to Protect Holy Ganga
Some of the major impacts of planting trees over riverside are as follows:-
- Improve groundwater level recharge
- Reduce flood and drought
- Protect Biodiversity
- Prevent Soil Erosion
- Improve Water Quality and Regulate Rainfall
Forests cause higher rainfall and raise the water level in the rivers. Through their foliage, craggy bark and abundant leaf litter, trees and forests decrease the speed of water dispersion and favor slow but greater infiltration of rainwater to ensure smooth functioning of the hydrological cycle. Moreover, the presence of healthy forest cover along the river provides the self-cleaning ability to the river. Thus, afforestation and augmentation of existing forest along the Ganga hold the promise to strengthen the riparian ecosystem thereby contributing to the overarching cause of Ganga Rejuvenation.