Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday inaugurated a workshop on "Ganga and its Biodiversity: Developing a roadmap for habitat and Species Conservation" and emphasised on the need of an integrated approach to clean Ganga.
Addressing the gathering at the inauguration function, Gadkari underscored the need to approach the challenges of cleaning river Ganga through an "integrated approach and with synergy between development and ecology.
Citing examples like making paper from bamboo, Gadkari said: "Such activities will not only generate employment in areas near river Ganga but will also encourage local communities, some of whom have joined the clean Ganga mission as Ganga Praharis and Ganga Mitras, to ensure conservation of river's biodiversity. We are increasing activities like plantation on the river bank, boating, construction of Mukti Dhams and Ghats. These will increase employment opportunities and will mobilise public participation of the local residents in the task of cleaning Ganga".
Gadkari also released a status report on Ganga Bio-diversity and launched a Ganga Prahari Database. The report documented few aquatic species spotted for the first time in several years and will act as a baseline for further studies.
The first-of-its-kind report, "Status of Conservation of Select Aquatic Species", which was released by the Minister, presents the status of select species of river Ganga.
The Minister also released another publication "Ganga Biodiversity-At a Glance" which gives species with details, along with their depiction and maps.
These reports have been prepared by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun as part of the "Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation" project being sponsored by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the aegis of the Namami Gange programme. The project aims to develop a science-based aquatic species restoration plan for Ganga by involving multiple stakeholders.