“Environment and Social Management Framework (ESMF)” by Ministry of Environment and Forests Government of India, National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)
“Environment and Social Management Framework (ESMF).” NGRBA, MoEF. GoI. Vol 1. Jan 2011.
The river Ganga has significant economic, environmental and cultural value in India. Rising in the Himalayas and flowing in to the Bay of Bengal, the river traverses a course of more than 2,500 km through the plains of north and eastern India. The Ganga basin – which also extends into parts of Nepal, China and Bangladesh – accounts for 26 per cent of India‘s landmass, 30 per cent of its water resources and more than 40 per cent of its population. The Ganga also serves as one of India‘s holiest rivers whose cultural and spiritual significance transcends the boundaries of the basin.
Despite its importance, extreme pollution pressures pose a great threat to the biodiversity and environmental sustainability of the Ganga, with detrimental effects on both the quantity and quality of its flows. Due to increasing population in the basin and poor management of urbanization and industrial growth, river water quality has significantly deteriorated, particularly in dry seasons. Untreated sewage and industrial wastewater represent the primary sources of pollution, with only one-third of the sewage generated in the main-stem towns and cities receiving treatment before being discharged in the river.
Inadequate wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure/capacity provides the most immediate explanation for this failure, as evidenced by the fact that 25% of pollution in the Ganga comes from the industrial sector. Yet this issue is also intrinsically linked to the weak capacity of local water and wastewater utilities and inadequate environmental monitoring and regulation of point source pollution…