At the 37th Executive Committee meeting of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), chaired by NMCG director general Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Chacha Chaudhary was declared as the mascot of the Namami Gange Programme and they also discuss and evaluated some major projects of Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar.
NMCG has been focusing on youth as part of its outreach and public communications efforts as they are the impellers of change. As a step towards this NMCG has tied-up with Diamond Toons to develop and distribute comics, e-comics and animated videos. The content will be designed with the objective of bringing about behavioral change amongst children towards Ganga and other rivers. The total estimated budget for the project is Rs 2.26 crore.
NMCG executive director Ashok Kumar Singh 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. He said, “NMCG has always been into community engagement with special focus on youth and children. This association will be one more step towards it.”
Speaking on the collaboration Diamond Toons director Manish Verma said, “Chacha Chaudhary has been an integral part of such campaigns earlier as well like the Swachh Bharat Mission, infusing new energy and working efficiently in favor of the movement. Involving Chacha Chaudhary shows the power and influence of this iconic character who is still working better in reaching out to people of all age groups and social profiles. The comics will be distributed via our 360-degree distribution network involving print, school integration, library programs, animation, and outdoor, digital and social media.”
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat took to Twitter to say, “Who doesn’t know Chacha Chaudhary in India? A cartoon character whose brain functions faster than a computer, will now be the mascot of the Namami Gange project. This is a sincere attempt to help children join the initiative of cleansing the rivers.”
The Government of Bihar Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Department principal secretary Dipak Kumar Singh 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 at creating a knowledge base and capacities for effective management of floodplain wetlands in the 12 Ganga districts in Bihar to ensure sustained provision of wetlands ecosystem services and securing biodiversity habitats. He also gave an overview about the initiatives taken to conserve Gangentic Dolphins. He shared that the government is working on sensitizing local fishermen.
Mishra suggested that collaborating with other stakeholders like CIFRI can be beneficial in achieving the goal of conservation of Dolphins.
A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Interception and Diversion of Drains and Sewage Treatment Works at Pratapgarh, Uttar-Pradesh was presented by NMCG director technical Pravin Kumar Mutiyar. The main aim of this project is reduction of pollution load from Pratapgarh into river Sai along with the improvement in bio-diversity and eco-system 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 these 7.60 KM is already built and the balance 4.872 KM is in-progress), two separate low-cost treatment processes based STPs for two different drains and an onsite low-cost 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 crore including 15 years operations and maintenance. This project was initially approved in 2006 but only construction of STP was completed, it was not operational. As NMCG has started working on rejuvenation of tributaries of Ganga in second phase, this project was re-visited after more than a decade and started with a new approach.