Historical Evaluation of Ganga Action Plans: Lessons Learnt
Group Members: Denny Ariaputra, Soh Siew Luie, Wang Nian, Tashi Tobgay, Dawa Tshering
The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was launched by the Government of India to improve the water quality to acceptable standards by preventing the pollution load from reaching the river. Though it has been implemented since 1985, there has not been any significant improvement to the pollution levels of the Ganga over the past 30 years. In this chapter, we used the five- stage policy process framework to systematically evaluate GAP as a policy. Based on literature reviews of reports prepared by government agencies and articles from academic journals, we have identified some shortcomings in the stages of agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation and policy evaluation. Recommendations are made based on the lessons learnt, as to how these processes could enhance the Namami Gange program.
Managing Competing Demand for Water in the Ganga: Lessons from the Yellow River
Group Members: Han Mingyu, Li Na, Cao Dong and Panji Ruky
Due to excessive extraction and diversion of water and severe seasonality of rainfall, low water flow has been reported in the middle segment of the Ganga, (from Haridwar to Varanasi) during the dry season. Lack of strong water flow has exacerbated the pollution levels at this stretch of the river due to the high amount of untreated industrial effluents and domestic sewage being dumped into it. This chapter attempts to examine ways to manage the competing demand for water, given the amount of flow available along that stretch.To do so, we perform a literature study on international practices in managing water flow and the competing demand for water in a river basin.
The Yellow River in Northern China is selected as a comparison due to key similarities it shares with the Ganga and also because of its successful intervention in managing water scarcity. We also performed a comparative analysis of the key aspects of water governance of the two rivers. Our investigation revealed that establishing a water quota system may help in controlling water use in the Ganga. However, such a system may need to be supported by storage infrastructure,a water allocation plan and awater rights trading or compensation scheme, to balance the trade-offs between the needs of the upstream and downstream states. The Indian government has focused its clean-up efforts and funds into sewage and effluent treatment facilities. We hope to draw attention to the less discussed side of the pollution problem, i.e. to allow for the river’s natural ability to cleanse itself of pollutants.
Towards a Cleaner Ganga: Are Existing Rules and Regulations Boon or Bane?
Group Members: Ronojoy Banerjee, Pablo Mota, Lucy Symons
India’s rules and regulations for water resources management, especially for rivers, is a complex landscape of legal acts on one side and of overlapping authorities, boards, councils, and ministries on the other. We contend that the current regulatory framework around water pollution prevention is hindering the opportunities to clean rivers, specifically the most polluted of them all, the Ganga. Through a two part analysis, first of the pollution levels and clean-up targets that agencies have as mandates, and secondly of the different directives and legislation around water pollution prevention, we assess the weaknesses and strengths of the current rules and regulations.
This chapter is an effort to pinpoint the many voids, lagoons and overlaps in the regulations and to illustrate how these have hindered the clean-up efforts. We also highlight how over- regulation and lack of empowerment have affected the authorities’ implementation and enforcement of the rules that preventthe Ganga from being polluted.Our analysis renders areas of opportunity on the integration of rules, complianceand agency coordination that may improve the overall effectiveness of the framework in an attempt to finally achieve a major reduction in the pollution levelsof the river.
Forming a Broad Umbrella: Facilitating Inter and Intra-State Coordination
Group Members: Hlaing Myat, Lay Sopagna, V.Sokkanathan, Sirilak Kakanopas, Soe Myint Aung
Since 1985, the Government of India has introduced the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in a bid to mitigate pollution and bring back a clean Ganga. However, over the timeframe Ganga’s contamination exacerbated at an alarming rate. Part of the pitfalls were due to the failure to establish an effective institutional arrangement between theCentral government and State government and also between States, when it comes to planning, monitoring and operation. As a result, major coordination issues such as conflicting and duplicating functions and varying interests of Central and State agencies have complicated the effort to clean the Ganga. In this chapter, we reviewthe coordinated approaches of the river Ganga management through inter and intrastate coordination on the basis of an alternative coordination framework, theIntegrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) paradigm. Ultimately, the study examines the concepts of decentralization, incentives for local government and successful models of collaboration in other places, asintegral to the coordination effort to clean the Ganga.