Indian comic book character Chacha Chaudhary has been declared as the mascot of the government's Namami Gange Programme with an aim of bringing behavioural change among children towards the Ganga and other rivers.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), which has been focusing on the youth as part of its outreach and public communications efforts as they are the impellers of change, has tied-up with Diamond Toons to develop and distribute comics, e-comics and animated videos.
The content will be designed with the objective of bringing about behavioural change among children towards the Ganga and other rivers, according to an official statement.
At the 37th executive committee meeting of the NMCG, which was chaired by Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Chacha Chaudhary was declared as the mascot of the Namami Gange programme and some major projects in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were discussed and evaluated.
Executive Director (ED), Projects, Ashok Kumar Singh presented the project details and said Chacha Chaudhary can be useful in ground-level activation for Ganga rejuvenation.
Initially, the comics will be launched in Hindi, English and Bengali.
"The NMCG has always been into community engagement with special focus on youth and children. This association will be one more step towards it," Mishra said.
Dipak Kumar Singh, the principal secretary of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in Bihar presented a proposal for conserving and sustainably managing Gangetic floodplain wetlands in Bihar.
The major components of the project will be wetland inventory and assessment, wetland management planning, wetland's monitoring, and capacity development and outreach.
"This will be a 100 per cent centrally funded project with an estimated cost of Rs 2.505 crore. The proposal aims at creating a knowledge base and capacities for effective management of floodplain wetlands in the 12 Ganga districts in Bihar to ensure sustained provision of wetlands ecosystem services and securing biodiversity habitats," the statement said.
Singh also gave an overview about the initiatives taken to conserve Gangetic dolphins.
He shared that the government is working on sensitising local fishermen.
Mishra suggested that collaborating with other stakeholders like CIFRI can be beneficial in achieving the goal of conservation of dolphins.
A detailed project report (DPR) for interception and diversion of drains and sewage treatment works at Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh was presented by Dr Pravin Kumar Mutiyar, Director Technical, NMCG.
The main aim of this project is reduction of pollution load from Pratapgarh into the Sai river, along with the improvement in biodiversity and ecosystem of the river and improvement in general hygiene and sanitation. It will also add to the overall aesthetics of the arena, the statement said.
Major components of this project will be interception and diversion of drains discharging into the river to existing STPs, development of 12.472 KM sewer line for connection of drains to STP (of these 7.60 KM is already built and the balance 4.872 KM is in-progress), two separate low-cost treatment processes based STPs for two different drains and an onsite low-cost treatment based on wetland technology proposed for a drain which flows parallel to the railway line, it added.
The project also includes repairing of the existing main pumping station, construction of intermediate pumping station and electric power substation. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 39.67 cr, including 15 years of operations and maintenance.
This project was initially approved in 2006 but only construction of STP was completed, it was not operational. As the NMCG has started working on rejuvenation of tributaries of the Ganga in the second phase, this project was re-visited after more than a decade and started with a new approach.
The revised detailed project report for development of ghat and crematoria at Simariya, Barauni, Bihar was presented by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) at the EC meeting.
The field survey of the project location had already been done by the NBCC and it has estimated the total project cost as Rs 11.92 crore to be implemented in 20 months.
Simariya being the birthplace of Rashtra Kavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, is of historical significance. It is believed that the poet spent a lot of time on this bank of Gangaand penned some of his best poems.
This ghat is also popular for Kalpvas, an ancient tradition in which devotees live on ghats, sing and meditate during the Magh Mela.
Another ghat construction was also sanctioned at Balughat, another important place along the Ganga in the vicinity of a famous temple, the statement said.