Starting April, 164 ghats along the Ganga would now be selling organic/natural produce that will be grown along the Ganga river as part of the ‘Ghat Pe Haat’ programmme.
Ganga Aarti at all these ghats too is on the cards.
The ‘Ghat Pe Haat’ will be part of Arth Ganga that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in 2019. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has six verticals, of which natural farming/organic farming.
When the produce from this farming starts coming in, we will need to provide them market place. These 164 ghats were built over six years but somehow were not being maintained as they should have been. So we thought, these ghats can be turned into haats (markets) where the local farmers can come and sell their organic/natural produce, NMCG director general, G. Ashok said.
He was speaking with the mediapersons on the sidelines of an event by the Ministry of Jal Shakti on the World Water Day.
The haat at any given ghat can be held according to local convenience either once in a week or more, he said.
When such a market starts, naturally, more people are likely to visit the ghats and hence, the NMCG is also planning to hold Ganga Aarti events on weekends.
This will draw local tourists and add to improving the local economy, Ashok said.
The NMCG envisages District Ganga Committees in all districts along the Ganga that would cater to all Ganga-related issues.
Many of them have been formed, others are being formed. These are headed by the local DM. Till now, there was no check on what exactly these Committees are doing.
We have now asked these Committees to meet at least once in a month and then send us a report complete with minutes of the meeting. The people that are part of the Committee will keep a check on what happens on the ground, the DG NMCG said, adding, the government hopes this bottom up approach will help in better management.
To a question as to what action is being taken against the polluters who dump untreated effluents into the Ganga directly in clandestine manner, he said, We are hoping the local committees would be empowered enough to stop such practices.