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Conservation of Water Bodies

National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD)

The National River Conservation Directorate, functioning under the Ministry is engaged in implementing the River and Lake Action Plans under the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) & National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) by providing assistance to the State Governments.
  • The objective of NRCP is to improve the water quality of the rivers, which are the major water sources in the country, through the implementation of pollution abatement works, to the level of designated best use. So far a total of 35 rivers have been covered under the programme.
  • Major works being taken up under the NRCP include Interception and diversion works to capture the raw sewage flowing into the river through open drains and divert them for treatment. Setting up Sewage Treatment Plants for treating the diverted sewage. Construction of Low Cost sanitation toilets. Construction of Electric crematoria and improved Wood Crematoria to conserve the use of wood, River Front Development, afforestation on the river banks, Public Participation & Awareness etc.
  • Works under Ganga Action Plan Phase-II (presently part of National River Conservation Plan) are taken up in 59 towns along the main stem of river Ganga at an approved cost of Rs.663 crore.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests have received financial assistance of Yen 13.33 billion from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for implementation of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) Phase II, which is part of the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
  • Under the Gomti Action Plan Phase-I, out of 31 sanctioned schemes, 26 schemes have been completed. A total of 42 mid STPs capacity had already been created under this Plan.
  • Besides the river Ganga and its tributaries covered under GAP-I and GAP-II the NRCD has taken up the pollution abatement projects of 14 other States covering 30 rivers and 68 towns.
  • The water quality of river Ganga is being monitored at 27 locations from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand to Uluberia in West Bengal by institutions such as pollution Control Research Institute (Haridwar), CPCB Zonal Office Lucknow, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Patna Univerity and Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Kalyani. As a result of the projects completed under Ganga Action Plan, the water quality of river Ganga has shown a general improvement despite tremendous population growth along the river banks.
  • The water quality monitoring has also been undertaken for rivers namely, Yamuna, Western Yamuna Canal, Gomti, Hindon, Satluj (Punjab) Cauvery (Tamilnadu), Tunga, Bhadra, Tungbhadara in Karnataka and Waterways of Chennai. The numbers of monitoring stations presently are 158 in 10 rivers which include 27 stations set up in the upper reaches of Ganga and 32 stations of Chennai Waterways.
  • A total of 33 projects for conservation of 49 lakes have been sanctioned in 13 States at a total estimated cost of Rs.632.62 crore. Conservation works for 11 lakes have been completed so far whereas in some cases the project implementation is in last stages of completion. Funding pattern under NLCP (w.e.f. February, 2002) is on a 70:30 cost sharing between the Central and the State Governments.
  • The 12th World Lake Conference (Taal 2007), a biennial event under the aegis of international Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) Foundation, was organized by the Ministry, at Jaipur, Rajasthan from 28th October to 2nd November, 2007. The State Govt of Rajasthan was the co-host for this mega event. The central theme of the Conference was 'Conserving lakes & Wetlands for Future'. Other main objectives included identifying the issues concerning lakes and wetlands along with restoration approaches under different conditions adopted by different countries.
  • The Conference was inaugurated by Hon'ble President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil on 29th October, 2007 in the presence of other dignitaries including Hon'ble Governor and Chief Minister of Rajasthan. As many as 600 no. of delegates comprising of nearly 150 overseas delegates from different parts of the world, attended the Conference with their oral or poster presentations on their studies pertaining to the subject matter. The Jaipur Declaration was adopted at the Valedictory session, to work upon as a follow up action of the Conference.

      National Wetlands Conservation Programme

      The scheme on conservation and management of Wetlands was initiated in 1987 to lay down policy guidelines for implementing programs of conservation and management of wetlands in the country, to undertake priority wetlands for intensive conservation measures and to monitor Implementation of the Programme of conservation, management and research, and to prepare an inventory of Indian wetlands.
      • Number of wetlands under Wetland Conservation Programme increased from 27 in 2004 to 71 in 2005 and to 103 in January 2008.
        • A brochure on 'National Wetland Conservation, an approach and Guidelines' was released on the eve of 2nd February, 2007 which has now been published and circulated to all the user agencies.
        • Management Action Plans (MAPs) of 36 wetlands have been approved and financial assistance sanctioned. Cases of 10 more M.A.Ps, for newly identified wetlands are being taken up.
        • Twenty five sites have already been designated as Ramsar sites in India till date;
        • India has been nominated on Board of Directors of wetland International and on request from India. Meeting of Board of Directors of Wetland International was held in New Delhi at Manesar during 19-20 October, 2005, About 23 countries participated. India chaired one of the sessions and efforts made by India in Wetland conservation were highly applauded by all the participating countries.


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