Asok Kumar, the Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, spoke about the Arth Ganga model during his virtual keynote address to the Stockholm World Water Week 2022.
- PM Modi first introduced the concept during the first National Ganga Council meeting in Kanpur in 2019, where he urged for a shift from Namami Gange, the Union Government’s flagship project to clean the Ganga, to the model of Arth Ganga.
- The latter focuses on the sustainable development of the Ganga and its surrounding areas, by focusing on economic activities related to the river.
Under Arth Ganga, the government is working on six verticals —
- The first is Zero Budget Natural Farming, which involves chemical-free farming on 10 km on either side of the river, and the promotion of cow dung as fertiliser through the GOBARdhan scheme.
- The Monetisation and Reuse of Sludge & Wastewater is the second, which seeks to reuse treated water for irrigation, industries and revenue generation for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
- Arth Ganga will also involve Livelihood Generation Opportunities, by creating haats where people can sell local products, medicinal plants and ayurveda.
- The fourth is to increase public participation by increasing synergies between the stakeholders involved with the river.
- The model also wants to promote the cultural heritage and tourism of Ganga and its surroundings, through boat tourism, adventure sports and by conducting yoga activities.
- Lastly, the model seeks to promote institutional building by empowering local administration for improved water governance.