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West Bengal villagers participate in massive drive to clean up Ganga

Participation of common people marked the initiative of cleaning Ganga in West Bengal's Howrah district

In a bid to make rivers pollution free and clean, especially the Ganga, the Government has roped in community participation at the grassroot level. Keeping in tune with this, West Bengal’s Howrah district Zilla Parishad organised a plastic removal programme in 18 gram panchayats (GPs) bordering Ganga with the support of the communities and panchayat samitis.

Through this programme, 9.32 metric tonnes of plastic waste were collected in just 18 days of which 8 MT was transported to plastic recyclers. Besides this, 36 permanent plastic collection boxes were placed and to make people aware, 54 permanent display boards on plastic waste management were put up in public places.

Also workshops that were well attended were held all the GPs, 180 meetings were held with SHG members and 36 with people from market committees and shop owners.

Apart from this the initiative is also working to put in place a permanent network development for regular plastic removal and transportation through SHGs Sangha.

This programme was held this month under the aegis of the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen which aims to achieve sustainability and cleanliness through management of solid and liquid waste.

The programme received support of the local people and saw enthusiastic and voluntary community participation by several groups, including elected representatives, panchayat employees, village communities, members of Self-Help Groups, and market vendors.

The basic aims of the initiative is to restore the bio-diversity by protecting fish, reptiles, dolphins and other animals of the river; preserving underwater and aquatic ecosystem and bio-diversity; provide clean Ganga water for agriculture; increase the navigability of the river by maintaining depth of the river; and also give a fillip to livelihood of communities residing adjacent to Ganga.

Among the GPs where the programme was held included Banupur-I, Banupur-II, Sankrail, Dakshin Sankrail, Raghudevbati, Sarenga, Manikpur, Jhorehat, Panchpara, Thanamakua, Dhulashimla, Heerapur, Kalinagar, Baneswarpur-I, Baneswarpur-II, Belari, Dingakhola, and Nabagram.