Tasked with assisting local authorities implement ongoing Ganga rejuvenation programmes and enforce relevant laws, it is expected to prevent wanton pollution and desecration of the holy river.
The proposed central force will police the entire stretch of the Ganga (2,525km) in five states -Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal -which are on the main stem of the river.
“The justice (retired) Girdhar Malviya committee has suggested setting up such a force under central government and made provisions for its recruitment, tenure, powers and composition in the proposed draft law on Ganga. The government is favourably inclined to set up the force,“ said a senior official of the Union water resources ministry .
He said, “We will soon start the process of consulting the states for setting up this force which will draw its functional powers from the proposed law on the river Ganga“.
Justice (retired) Malviya had submitted the proposed draft law, National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill, 2017, to the Union water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister Uma Bharti on Wednesday .
The draft legislation fixes five-year term for members of the force which will be headed in a district or group of contiguous districts (zone along the river) by a serving magistrate-level officers at zonal directorate. The magistrate-level officer will be on deputation to the GVF from the respective states.
According to the proposal, every zonal directorate will be assigned a team of the force with adequate number as deemed fit by the National River Ganga Basin Management Corporation -a new proposed body with its head office in Delhi -which will be the custodian of the river Ganga for its “protection, management and rejuvenation“.
Once the corporation is set up, the existing National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) will be dissolved. At present, the NMCG is the key implementing agency of the entire Ganga rejuvenation programme of the Centre under `Namami Gange'.
The corporation will be headed by a director general of the rank of additional secretary and above. The DG, having tenure of five years, will be appointed by the central government under the new proposed architecture.