In a recent development, 75 destinations along the banks of the Ganges will be developed this year as hubs for sustainable economic development and tourism. This will be done by promoting site-specific activities such as river walks, homestays, biodiversity monitoring, village visits, jungle safaris and many other similar activities.
Reports indicate that about 26 such sites have already become operations in six states along the Gomati, Ganga, Chambal, Yamuna and Hoogly rivers, which is part of the Centre’s broader objective to promote the activities of subsistence under
Arth’s Ganges concept of the National Mission for a Clean Ganges (NMCG).
Referring to this, the Director General of NMCG, G Asok Kumar, said that this initiative comes within the framework of
Arth’s Ganges concept launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2019 National Ganges Council meeting in Kanpur. This project will connect local residents through economic bridges to ensure the sustainability of NMCG’s efforts in the rejuvenation of the Ganges and its tributaries, and Jalaj is part of one of its six identified verticals – the generation of means of subsistence. Apparently, Jalaj is based on the “circular economy” model through which local people are mobilized to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the cleanliness of the river ecosystem and trained in sustainable livelihood practices.
Union Jal Shakti (Water Resources) Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the initiative virtually on August 16 at 26 sites in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. While 11 such sites are in Uttar Pradesh, six sites are in West Bengal, five in Bihar, two in Uttarakhand and one in Madhya Pradesh and one in Jharkhand.
For this initiative, specific activities have been identified for each site, and the availability of natural resources and local conditions have been taken into account for these.