- Arth-Ganga project
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Arth-Ganga project is a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to River Ganga.
When was the project envisaged?
- During the first meeting of the National Ganga Council in Uttar Pradesh, in December 2019, Prime Minister urged for a holistic thinking process where ‘Namami Gange’ evolves to ‘Arth Ganga’ or a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga.
- With implementing the mantra of PM Narendra Modi, ‘Reform, Perform and Transform’ Cargo volume on Ganga will be increased by 4 times with special focus on developing inland waterways Arth-Ganga project will boost economic development and inclusive growth for farmers, small traders and villagers.
- As part of this process, farmers should be encouraged to engage in sustainable agriculture practices, including zero budget farming, planting of fruit trees and building plant nurseries on the banks of Ganga.
- Priority could be given to women Self Help Groups and ex-servicemen organizations for these programs.
- Such practices, along with creation of infrastructure for water sports and development of camp sites, cycling and walking tracks etc., which would help to tap the ‘hybrid’ tourism potential of the river basin area- for purposes of religious as well as adventure tourism.
- The income generated from encouraging eco-tourism and Ganga wildlife conservation and cruise tourism etc. would help to generate sustainable income streams for cleaning of Ganga.
Initiatives taken till date:
- Ministry of Shipping has taken several initiatives in last few years which has resulted into substantial growth in-terms of increasing Inland Cruises from 3 to 9, Cargo from 30,00,000 MT to 70,00,000 MT, and Vessels in-flow from 300 to 700.
- A lot of activities like developing of small jetties have been carried out for the beneficial for small community especially for farmers, traders and general public in the 1400 km stretch of National Waterway-1 from Banaras to Haldia.
- The Ministry is developing Varanasi (UP) Freight Village and Sahibganj (Jharkhand) Industrial Cluster-cum-Logistics Park with an objective of creating synergy with Inland Waterways at the cost of Rs. 200 crores and create enormous direct and indirect employment, giving an economical boost in this particular area.
Treaty for Transit of Cargo between India and Nepal:
- National Waterway- 1 will act as a main conduit of connection with Nepal in a trilateral manner, i.e. from Varanasi to Nautanwa (280km), Kaughatto Raxaul (204km) and Sahibganj to Biratnagar (233km).
- Earlier Nepal was connected by Kolkata and Visakhapatnam Ports for transporting cargo. Now, Inland Waterways, particularly NW-1 will be allowed under Treaty for Transit of Cargo between Government of India and Government of Nepal.
- It will save logistic cost and decongest Kolkata Port as well.
- Almost half of the Indian population lives around Ganges River belt in which about 1/5th of all India’s freight originates and 1/3rd terminates in the states around Ganges Belt.
- Inland Waterways is one of the most important pillars of “Arth-Ganga” project, which will result into inclusive growth and play a key role in generation of enormous employment opportunities in the National Waterways stretch.
- The Farmers will get a better return for their produce as the transportation of goods would become easier and cost effective by this. It will improve ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business.’