People’s Ganga Act

PEOPLE’S GANGA ACT – 2019

Draft Bill

The National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Conservation and Protection) Bill, 2019

Preamble

WHEREAS recognizing that through traditionally held knowledge and experience of the sacred nature of Gangajal and throughout history millions of Indians and people elsewhere in the world have regarded River Ganga as sacred due to the unique and exceedingly beneficial self-purifying and bactericidal properties of her waters, validated and still being explored through modern scientific research, and that therefore it is now imperative to restore, conserve and protect these unique properties of river Ganga and her waters, to be known hereinafter as “Gangatva”.

WHEAREAS it is the privilege of our Nation to possess this Divine river and have the opportunity for darshan, worship, to bathe in and imbibe her waters; that this our nation’s largest riverine ecosystem endowed with singular features and dynamics is the lifeline of over half our people and deserves our utmost attention and wholehearted protection.

WHEREAS the very special features and unique status of the sacred National River Ganga in our culture and daily lives is well-recognized, and that the National River Ganga is at the very foundation and core of our civilization.

WEHEREAS National River Ganga is an international symbol of our nation’s civilizational identity and that this house is conscious of the faith and pride our citizens take in Her.

WHEAREAS to recognize that a pristine and natural flow of the Ganga replete with Gangatva is what we owe to our nation, the planet, the present and indeed our future generations. In this flow lies our cultural and material welfare and prosperity.

WHEREAS recognizing its special significance, the Government of India has designated the River Ganga as the National River of India and for her rejuvenation, conservation and protection constituted various authorities for certain aspects of management from time to time.

WHEREAS the present legal frame work has not proven adequate to restore and protect the National River Ganga to its natural and pristine form.

WHEAREAS to study, recognize and acknowledge the adverse role human interference and developmental projects have had on the existence of river Ganga and brought her to her current state as a highly polluted fragmented stream, manipulated flow, and resulted in the destruction of her unique Gangatva over large stretches of the river.

WHEAREAS to wholeheartedly embrace the changes and drastic measures called for to undo this damage, without compromise, using best science to restore nature’s balance, rejuvenate and conserve her resources.

WHEAREAS to recognize that Ganga stands as a symbol for all waters, hence to progressively extend similar protection, conservation and rejuvenation to all of our nation’s rivers.

WHEREAS to realize the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and to give effect to provisions of the Directive Principles of State Policy under Articles 39(b), 48 A and 49 and the fundamental duties enshrined under Article 51 A(f) and (g) of the Constitution of India.

WHEREAS by invoking legislative power under Article 246 read with entry 56 of the List -I (Union List) of the VII Schedule of the Constitution of India.

WHEREAS the parliament declared it expedient, due her National Status and in larger public interest to take control for conservation and rejuvenation of the River Ganga as a whole ecosystem, and thereby prevention, control and total elimination of polluting and damaging influences on her.

WHEREAS comprehensive planning for rejuvenation, conservation and protection of the River Ganga needs to be governed by a common integrated perspective considering the national, state, regional and local context, keeping in view her unique scientific and cultural features, and preventing her economic exploitation as a step towards an ultimately natural free-flowing river Ganga, from her origin to her confluence with the sea.

NOW THEREFORE, this Act is enacted with the purpose of:

Establishing the fundamental and inalienable rights of the National River Ganga and her Basin to exist, thrive, and regenerate her own vital cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes;

Recognizing the rights of the people of India and the natural environment to sustain and enjoy the benefits of a frolicking, healthy, thriving and sacred River Ganga and her basin, particularly her unique features and thus to cherish our civilizational identity ensuring her conservation for all times to come;

To take measures for preventing violation of the provisions of the Act and prescribe penalties for the offences committed thereof.

BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament in the 70th Year of the Republic of India as follows:

Contents

Chapter Particulars
Chapter-I Preliminary with Definitions
Chapter-II Guiding Principles
Chapter-III Gangatva (Unique properties of Ganga waters)
Chapter-IV Aviral Pravah (Natural flow) in a time bound and phased manner
Chapter-V Nirmal Pravaha (Pristine flow) in a time bound manner
Chapter-VI Core Zones and categorization of Activities
Chapter-VII Establishment of National Ganga Commission (NGC)
Chapter-VIII Powers and Functions of National Ganga Commission
Chapter-IX Constitution of Advisory Body of the National Ganga Commission
Chapter-X Constitution of the State Ganga Commissions
Chapter-XI Finance and Accounts
Chapter-XII Ganga Sewak Dal
Chapter-XIII Offences and Penalties
Chapter-XIV Miscellaneous
Schedule I, II, III Gangatva/Aviralta/Nirmalta of the National River Ganga, Primary Core Zone, long term and short term goals.

 

THE NATIONAL RIVER GANGA (REJUVENATION, CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION BILL, 2019

To rejuvenate the National River Ganga to its Natural (Aviral) and Pristine (Nirmal) state, replete with Gangatva, and to provide measures for conservation, rejuvenation and protection of the River Ganga and its tributaries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Seventieth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

 

CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY

Section 1: Short title, extent and commencement:-

 (1)This Act shall be called the National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Conservation and Protection) Act, 2019

(2) This Act shall apply to the States comprising River Ganga Basin, namely, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal and the National Capital Territory of Delhi and such other States, having tributaries of the River Ganga as the National Ganga Commission for Rejuvenation, Conservation and Protection of River Ganga (herein after called National Ganga Commission) may decide for the purpose of rejuvenation, conservation and protection of the River Ganga and her basin.

(3)It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

Section 2: Declaration as to expediency of Union Control for the rejuvenation, conservation and protection of River Ganga:-

It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union shall take control of the Rejuvenation, Conservation and Protection of River Ganga to restore it to its natural and pristine form and glory, to the extent hereinafter provided under this Act.

Section 3:  River Ganga to be the National River:-

The River Ganga, a living entity, being of unique importance and ascribed to faith and reasons that are civilizational, historical, socio-cultural, geographical and having priceless and astounding unique waters, sediment quality and ecology, is hereby given the status of our National River.

Section 4: Definitions:-

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

(1) ‘Act’ means the National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Conservation and Protection) Act, 2019

(2) ’Base flow’’ means portion of stream flow that results from seepage of water from the ground and slowly moves towards the river over time.

(3) ‘’Basin’’ means the entire catchment of a water body or water course including the soil, water, vegetation etc.

(4) “Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone” means the catchment area of National river Ganga from its origin Gaumukh to Uttarkashi notified on 18-12-2012 under Environment Protection Act-1986.

(5) “Bonafide resident”- means any resident/organization/establishment (govt. or non-govt.) owning property or settled in his plot previous to the date of the enactment of this Act. Any resident/organization/establishment after enactment shall be considered as ‘new’.

(6) ‘’Buffer Area’’ means the entire basin of the Ganga excluding the areas of the primary and secondary core zones, which shall be prescribed by the National Ganga Commission (NGC) for the purpose of this Act.

(7) ‘’Catchment or ‘’Catchment Area’’ includes the entire land area whose runoff from precipitation (rain, snow or ice) drains into a water body or a water course.

(8) “Demeaning Activities” means any act that undermines the sacred and spiritual atmosphere of the Ganga and disregards her status as a National River, such as usage of alcoholic beverages, smoking, playing cards etc. on the banks or Ghats of the National River Ganga as prescribed by National Ganga Commission.

(9) ‘’Flood Plain’’ means area on either side of a river (including all its channels) inundated by highest historic floods level during the last hundred years.

(10) ‘’Flood Plain Farming’’ includes seasonal agriculture or farming on the flood plain during lean season flow in the river.

(11) “Ganga Sewak Dal” means Ganga Sewak Dal referred in section 34 of this Act.

(12) “Gangatva” means the traditionally held knowledge and experience of the sacred nature of Gangajal manifesting unique self-purifying and bactericidal properties of her waters as described in Schedule-I of this Act.

(13) ‘’Ghat ‘’ means part of river bank used for bathing, religious, spiritual and other such similar purposes.

(14) “Master Plan” means a comprehensive plan of National Ganga Commission along with short term and long term goals for achieving the ultimate goal of Aviralta, Nirmalata along with Gangatva in a time bound manner for the purpose of this Act.

(15) ‘’Mining’’ means removal of river sand, silt, sediments, oil and minerals from river-bed and flood plains either manually or through mechanized means as prescribed.

(16) “Natural flow” (Aviral Pravah)- means the total and complete voluminous flow on the river-bed without any diversion, extraction or obstruction as crafted and created by Nature itself as described in schedule I of this Act.

(17) “National Commission for Rejuvenation, Conservation and Management of River Ganga, (hereinafter referred to as the National Ganga Commission)” means National Ganga Commission constituted under Section 14 of this Act.

(18) “National River Ganga” (hereinafter referred to as River Ganga) means the Bhagirathi originating at Gaumukh glacier (which in our timeless tradition is considered the origin of the Holy Ganga) and the entire length of five head-streams in the State of Uttarakhand namely, Rivers Dhauli Ganga, Nandakini, Pinder, Mandakini and Alaknanda starting from their originating glaciers up to their respective confluences at Vishnu Prayag, NandPrayag, KarnPrayag, RudraPrayag, and DevPrayag as also the main stem of the river thereafter up to GangaSagar.

(19) “New” means any prescribed-activity which commences after the date of enactment of this Act.

(20) ‘’Notification’’ means a notification published in the Gazette of India

(21) ‘’Offensive Matter’’ includes material that pollutes river Ganga and its tributaries.

(22) ‘’Person’’ includes-

(i) an individual or group or association or individuals whether incorporated or not;

(ii) a company established under the Companies Act, 2013;

(iii) any corporation established by or under any Central or State Act;

(iv) a local  authority ;

(v) Every juridical person not falling within any of the preceding sub-clauses;

(23)  ‘’Prescribed’’ means prescribed by rules under this Act;

(24) ‘’Pristine flow’’ (Nirmal Pravah) as per schedule I of this Act, means pre-development flow without pollution by any human agent or agency whatsoever. It equally includes the full presence of the unique self-purifying quality of Gangajal- which is called “Gangatva”

(25) “Primary Core Zone”- catchment area of the Bhagirathi and the five major head streams namely Alaknanda, Mandakini, Pinder, Dhauli Ganga, Nandakini in the Himalayas including the catchment area of Yamuna, Gori-Ganga and river Kali in the Ganga-Himalayan basin as per Schedule II of this Act.

(26) “Secondary Core Zone”- This refers to the flood plain area of the main stem of the River Ganga from Devprayag to Gangasagar. This zone shall also include 1000 meter across on both sides of the active flood lines in the plains. In Hilly terrain the area excluded from primary core zone shall be a part of Secondary core zone from 20 to 200 meters across on both sides of the highest recorded flood lines as may be demarcated by the National Ganga Commission.

(27) ‘’Specified State’’ means

(i) in relation to the Bihar, the State of Bihar;

(ii)In relation to the Jharkhand the State of Jharkhand

(iii) in relation to the Uttar Pradesh, the State of Uttar Pradesh

(iv) in relation to the Uttarakhand, the State of Uttarakhand

(v) in relation to the West Bengal, the State of West Bengal

(28) “Specified Zone’’ means such area as may be notified by the National Ganga Commission in the specified State for the purpose of this Act.

(29) “State Ganga Commission” means the State Ganga Commission referred in Section 27 of this Act.

(30) “Tributaries’’ means any major or minor stream or river that lies in the designated Ganga-Basin and finally contributes its water into the National River Ganga.

(31) ‘’Uninterrupted flow’’- Environmental flow of river or stream in naturally formed river bed without any longitudinal, lateral, vertical or temporal discontinuity.

(32) Words and expression used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Indian Forest Act, 1927, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 shall be deemed to have the meanings assigned to them in those Acts or rules made there under.

CHAPTER II

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR REJUVENATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER GANGA AND HER BASIN

Section 5: Principles for Protection of River Ganga and Her Basin (including its rejuvenation and conservation):-

The following principles and approaches shall be followed in the conservation, rejuvenation and protection of River Ganga and her Basin:-

  • The uniqueness of River Ganga (Gangatva) is defined by the reverence of millions of devotees and manifest in her special self-purifying and bactericidal capacity. To restore this unique feature along the entire length of the river and protect it for all humanity as a wonder of nature is the cherished outcome and Aviralta, Nirmalta and the resulting Gangatva is the final goal of this Act.
  • A river is a flow. Without the Aviral and Nirmal flows of river Ganga, the basic nature, structure, properties, health and functions will be fundamentally impaired.
  • The River Ganga and her Basin shall be treated as a single system and its ecological and cultural value shall be protected in sustainable manner to ensure the natural and pristine flows and to protect the ecological integrity of the originating glaciers;
  • The restoration and maintenance of desired physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the waters of River Ganga and her tributaries shall be achieved in a time bound manner;
  • The desired hydrological, geo-morphological, ecological and cultural integrity of River Ganga shall be maintained;
  • The non-substitutable nature of River Ganga and her special self-purifying and bactericidal properties shall be recognized in its management processes;
  • Surface runoff, erosion, soil and biodiversity conservation to be part of the River Ganga Basin management plan, program and processes;
  • The non-govt. membership and public participation in governing bodies and programs for conservation, rejuvenation and protection of river Ganga to be mandatory;
  • In view of the rich self-purifying and bactericidal properties the Himalayan sediments and vegetation provide the river Ganga, eco sensitive zones on the pattern of the Bhagirathi Eco-Senstive Zone will be established for all head streams to ensure the protection of her valleys of origin;
  • To identify, demarcate and notify the specified zones in the buffer area in view of the conservation, rejuvenation and protection of the National river Ganga with special attention on those catchment forests, wetlands, floodplains, marshlands etc. which play crucial role in water recharge areas for river Ganga.
  • The exploration and research into eco-friendly alternatives and methodologies, latest technology as well as traditional wisdom in all areas impacting river rejuvenation, conservation and protection.
  • Activities on the banks of River Ganga will be regulated to maintain and conserve the spiritual, cultural and religious sanctity of the divine Mother Ganga. There will be no commercial transactions involving the sale and purchase of Ganga water;
  • In view of the critical role which the Ganga’s silt plays in enabling her special self-purifying properties, in the formation of fertile flood plains downstream and the Ganga-delta, and in recharging ground water during the monsoon season, it is especially important to ensure that the silt is not obstructed but is allowed to reach its natural destination;

 

CHAPTER III

‘GANGATVA’ (UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF GANGA WATERS) TO BE RESTORED ALL ALONG THE RIVER GANGA.

 

Section: 6- Restore Gangatva  all along the river Ganga:-

National and State Ganga Commissions shall act to ensure that Gangatva, which is described as per schedule I of this Act, to be restored all along the river Ganga and thereby;

  • To investigate and research into the causative factors and complex nature of ‘Gangatva’ which may extend to include other qualities besides the self-purifying, bactericidal and immunity boosting properties currently known.
  • To establish parameters for evaluating the presence of unique Ganga water properties from the purest and most pristine stretch of the upper Ganga and using this as a base data to establish parameters for entire length of the river.

 

CHAPTER IV

NATURAL FLOW- (AVIRAL PRAVAH) TO BE ACHIEVED

Section 7:  The Achievement and Maintenance of natural flow of water in River Ganga in a time-bound and phased manner:-

Central Government and every State Government mentioned in subsection (2) of Section (1) shall act to ensure:

  • To set in motion a gradual process towards an ultimately natural free-flowing river Ganga from its origin to its confluence with the sea.
  • The ultimate goal is to have a natural and pristine (Aviral and Nirmal) flowing Ganga replete with its irreplaceable ‘Gangatva’. Until this goal is achieved, uninterrupted environmental flow, must be maintained in all existing projects at all times in river Ganga by minimizing the diversion during lean period, using demand side management options and promoting various scientific/innovative options for the recharge of groundwater and augmentation of flow in river
  • Adoption of scientific options and traditional wisdom for the recharge of small and large water bodies (streams, ponds, springs etc.) to augment and ensure a healthy flow in River Ganga.
  • In view of the crucial role of the riparian zone in water recharge, natural filtration, growth of fauna and flora, that affect river ecology, to formulate regulations for ensuring that natural river banks are maintained on both sides of river. Thereby allowing for the aesthetic beauty of a free flowing, clean river and allowing the structural integrity of the Ganga.
  • Co-operate in the preparation of a detailed plan by the National Ganga Commission within 12 months of the enactment of this Act, with alternatives including stepwise decommissioning of the projects like hydro projects, canals etc. that abstract, divert the water from the river, to achieve the natural flow throughout the length of river Ganga from Gaumukh to Gangasagar. Such a plan should be implemented within a maximum period of 15 years to achieve the final goal of a natural and pristine flowing Ganga.

 

CHAPTER V

PRISTINE FLOW- (NIRMAL PRAVAH) IN A TIME-BOUND MANNER

Section 8: River Ganga and her tributaries to be free from any kind of pollution in a time-bound manner:-

It shall be the duty of all citizens of India, person and authorities to :-

  • Respect, regard, and revere the river Ganga as a National identity and at no time to treat the holy Ganga as an ordinary water body or natural resource.
  • Prevent, control and eliminate pollution in river Ganga through human agencies and to safeguard the flora and fauna along its banks and in the riparian zones.
  • Take all necessary measures to protect and restore the natural environment including, rivers, streams, springs, lakes and water bodies, and to have compassion for living creatures
  • To abstain from doing any acts, deeds, or actions which may result in causing damage and pollution in river Ganga and its tributaries.
  • To ensure a free flow that will allow the river to constantly rejuvenate and cleanse itself.

The Central Government and State Governments shall ensure;

  • To co-operate in study and research to identify and quantify the ‘Gangatva’ property in the purest and most pristine stretch of the upper Ganga and using this as a base data to establish parameters of Nirmalta (Pristine flow) for entire length of the river.
  • To restore the Ganga“Jal” to its attested self-purifying and bactericidal properties called ‘Gangatva’ that can kill both coliforms and disease causing pathogens as per the available research data.
  • To take special precautions with regard to bio-medical and industrial pollutants that can pollute the water over long stretches and cause disease, besides harming the variety of life forms in the river and along the banks.

 

CHAPTER VI

GUIDELINES FOR ACTIVITIES IN THE RIVER GANGA AND ITS CORE ZONES:

 

For determination of activities, the river Ganga shall be divided into four main sections;

  • The main river itself called National River Ganga as defined in Sub-Section (18) of Section (4)
  • The Primary Core Zone as defined in Sub-Section (25) of Section (4) and described in Schedule IV
  • The Secondary Core Zone as defined in Sub-Section (26) of Section (4)
  • Buffer Area as defined in Sub-Section (6) of Section (4)

 

Section 9:  National River Ganga (As per sub-section 18 of section 4):-

  

  • Prohibited Activities;
  • Setting up of any new structures including hydro-projects, barrages, canals and riverfront developmental projects which obstruct the Natural flow (Aviral Pravah) of Ganga and adversely affect the unique water properties of river Ganga; so also the expansion of any such existing projects except bridges as per the permission of National Ganga Commission.
  • Abstraction of river waters for any industrial, commercial purposes or for sale.
  • Mining of minerals and stone quarrying in the riverbed except for disaster management to be subsumed locally for public works.
  • Discharge of any untreated or treated sewage, industrial effluents, bio-medical waste or any other kind of solid waste.
  • Immersion of inorganic chemical based statues and inorganic worship materials such as sindur, plastic cups, photos, books, calendars having plastic materials etc.
  • Carrying out fishing by way of any mechanized operation for commercial fishing or harmful net or explosives.
  • No poisons, toxins, explosives, chemicals, usage of soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, washing powder and such non-biodegradable agents etc. to be used in the waters or the ‘Ghats’ for any purpose whatsoever.
  • Any defiling, demeaning or polluting activities.
  • Motorized boats for recreational purposes.
  • Sea-planes, floating casino, café, hotels, restaurants etc.
  • Any kind of encroachment by way of permanent structures on the riverbed.

 

  • Regulated Activities;
  • Abstraction of water for irrigation and agricultural purposes.
  • Non-mechanized small-scale traditional fishing.
  • Small-scale navigation operated only by green-fuel (solar, electric etc.) for public transportation and goods without altering the river dynamics.
  • Artificial reinforcement/beautification of natural banks shall be confined to Ghats in pilgrimage spots using eco-friendly materials. Walking paths (Aastha-path) may be permitted by State Ganga Commission.
  • Certain recreational activities like kayaking, rafting and water sports.

 

Note: National Ganga Commission shall decide which kind of traditional practices (e.g. Asthi Visarjan, Immersion of dead bodies of Sadhus etc.) can be permitted.

 

Section 10: Primary Core Zone (As per sub-section 25 of Section 4):-

 

  • Prohibited Activities: As per the provisions laid down in the Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone Notification and that all the later amendments as made from time to time and inclusive of any additional conditions as may be prescribed by National Ganga Commission.
  • Regulated Activities: As per the provisions laid down in the Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone Notification and that all the later amendments as made from time to time and inclusive of any additional conditions as may be prescribed by National Ganga Commission.

 

 

Section 11: Secondary Core Zone (As per sub-section 26 of section 4):-

 

  • Prohibited activities;
  1. Setting up production/industrial units of any type involving disposal of any pollutants, solid, liquid or gaseous.
  2. All types of mining (minor or major materials), stone quarrying except for domestic needs of local residents in a non-mechanized and limited way.
  3. Setting up of stone crushing unit at a distance up to 5 Kms from secondary core zone of the National River Ganga.
  4. Units involving slaughtering/processing of fish, animals or any living species/matter.
  5. Any form of agriculture including horticulture or floriculture etc. using any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or weedicides and non-organic inputs.
  6. No new developmental activities (construction of buildings, shops, tea-stalls etc.)
  7. Noise pollution via loud-speakers, DJs.
  8. Use of plastic bags in shops, commercial establishments, and their disposal by anyone, including tourists.
  9. Use of alcoholic beverages, non-vegetarian food or any such things.
  10. Sale and use of chemical based or plastic wrapped worship items having any inorganic component.

 

  • Regulated Activities:
  1. Extraction of ground water shall be permitted beyond the active flood plain areas only for the domestic and agricultural use of the bonafide occupier of the plot. Sale of groundwater shall not be permitted.
  2. Defense installation and any other infrastructural development related to national security may be permitted with approval of the National Ganga Commission.
  3. In the mountain terrain roads and slope-protection shall be as per the Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone Notification. Road construction in the non-mountain terrain (Haridwar downstream) shall be permitted only in unavoidable circumstances and with the prior permission of the National Ganga Commission. Flood plains shall be zero construction area.
  4. Any bonafide resident, organization (government or non-government) and establishment, provided they be of a non-commercial nature will be allowed to construct in an eco-friendly manner beyond the flood plain area. Any construction by a new resident or organization (government or non-government) for domestic or commercial purposes shall be prohibited.
  5. Except in the flood plains, recreational activities such as water sports, cultural programs, educational programs etc. may be permitted without any permanent structures in strict compliance with regulations laid down by the National Ganga Commission.
  6. The National Ganga Commission will formulate guidelines for various traditional, cultural and spiritual events including Mahakumbh, Ardhkhumbh, Magh-Melas etc. so that their organization is done in an eco friendly non-polluting manner.  
  7. All major townships and cities falling under municipalities, for the purpose of this Act, shall have special regulations for regulated and prohibited activities keeping in view optimal construction.
  8. All new STPs and other treatment plants.

 

Section 12:  Buffer Area (As per sub-section 6 of section 4):-

 

The entire basin of the Ganga excluding the areas of the primary and secondary core zones shall be specified as the Buffer Area by the National Ganga Commission for the purpose of this Act. This area will be the buffer area of National River Ganga and shall have regulations laid down as per local topography, geology and ecology as prescribed by the National Ganga Commission. Since this entire basin is a catchment area, utmost efforts will be taken to provide regulation for water conservation, forestation, preservation of ecology, demarcation of specific zones etc. To attain the goals enshrined in the Act, steps may be carried out in a time-bound manner following the regulated and prohibited activities already prescribed for the two core zones.

Section 13: The National Ganga Commission shall be the competent authority to demarcate, notify such other specified zone in the entire basin or to additionally implement such measures as it may deem fit for the purpose of this Act in the Master Plan.

CHAPTER- VII

ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL GANGA COMMISSION

 

Section 14: Constitution, composition and location of National Ganga Commission

The Central Government shall, by notification*, establish, with effect from such date as may be specified therein, a Commission to be known as the National Ganga Commission to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on such Commission by or under this Act.

(1) The Commission shall consist of the following members, namely;

  1. A full-time chairperson;
  2. A full-time retired Judge of High Court or a person having knowledge and experience in environmental law and jurisprudence to act as Vice-Chairperson;
  3. Not less than six full-time independent members, subject to a maximum of 10;

(2) The office headquarter of the Commission shall be at Delhi and the Commission may, establish offices at any other places, if deemed necessary.

 

 

Section 15: Qualification of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Members

  • A person shall be qualified for appointment of Chairperson if he is an eminent person who has at least 25 years of experience in the field of environment, conservation and rejuvenation of water bodies.
  • A person shall be qualified for appointment as the Vice-Chairperson if as High Court Judge he has contributed to environmental jurisprudence or having 20 years of knowledge and experience in environmental law and jurisprudence.
  • The independent members shall be experts in riverine ecology, hydrogeology, river basin management, wildlife, glaciology and water conservation. At least 3 members will be independent members from civil society having vast experience of working in the field of river conservation and rejuvenation.

Section 16:  Appointment of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Members

  • The Chairperson and the Members shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal; Provided that every appointment under this sub-section shall be made after obtaining the recommendations of a Committee consisting of:
  1. The Prime Minister – Chairperson
  2. Leader of opposition of the House of People-        Vice-Chairman
  3. Speaker of the House of People- Member
  4. Minister-in-charge for Environment and Forests- Member
  5. Deputy Chairman of the Council of States- Member

          (2) Chairperson and all members of the Commission shall have the dedication, reverence and understating of the sacred nature, socio-cultural and spiritual aspects of the Ganga and commence their office with an oath of elegance, and carry out their duties with the constant awareness of the stature of Divine Ganga.

Section 17: Resignation and removal of Chairperson and Members:

(1) The Chairperson or any Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the President of India, resign his office.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the Chairperson or any Member shall only be removed from his office by order of the President of India on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in that behalf by the Supreme Court, reported that the Chairperson or the Member, as the case may be, ought on any such ground to be removed.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (2), the President may, by order, remove from office the Chairperson or any Member if the Chairperson or such Member, as the case may be,-

(a) is adjudged an insolvent; or

(b) engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or

(c) is unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or

(d) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or

(e) is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which in the opinion of the President involves moral turpitude.

Section 18:  Term of office of Chairperson and Members.

(1) A person appointed as Chairperson shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

(2) A person appointed as a Member shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall be eligible for re-appointment for another term of five years: Provided that no Member shall hold office after he has attained the age of seventy years.

(3) On ceasing to hold office, a Chairperson or a Member shall be ineligible for further employment under the Government of India or under the Government of any State.

Section 19: Officers and other staff of the Commission.

(1) The Central Government shall make available to the Commission—

(a) an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India who shall be the Secretary-General of the Commission; and

(b) such other officers and staff as may be necessary for the efficient perfor­mance of the functions of the Commission for the purpose of this Act.

(c) Office, officers, staff for State Ganga Commissions and such other admin­istrative, technical and scientific staff for the purpose of this Act, as deemed necessary by the Commission.

(2) The salaries, allowances and conditions of service of the officers and other staff appointed under sub-section (2) shall be such as may be prescribed.

Section 20: Dissolution of authorities constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 vide notification no. SO 3187 (E)  dated 7 October 2016

(1) On and from the date of notification of the National GangaCommission under this Act , the  authorities   constitutedunder the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986vide notification vide S.O. 3187(E) dated 7th October 2016 shall stand dissolved.

(2) On and from the date of constitution of the  National Ganga Commission under this Act all assets, liability of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, as being a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, shall stand dissolved and shall  be transferred to the National Ganga Commission constituted under this Act.

CHAPTER VIII

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION

Section 21: Duties, Powers and Functions of National Ganga Commission 

(1) The National Ganga Commission shall prepare a masterplan, within a year of its constitution, of all the steps needed to be taken to achieve the Natural (Aviral) and Pristine (Nirmal) flow of Ganga replete with Gangatva within a time bound frame, including its rejuvenation and conservation.

(2) The Master Plan prepared by the National Ganga Commission shall have statutory status and shall override all the other plans prepared by any other authorities or State Governments covered under the jurisdiction of this Act.

(3) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section(1), the functions and powers shall include all or any of the following matters, namely:

  1. To prepare long-term and short-term plan for execution of the Master Plan.
  2. To constitute various wings in the Commission including Planning and Policy cell, Research and Development wing ,Impact Assessment Committee etc. for implementing the Master Plan and long-term and short-term plans
  • To issue directions to the Central Government and State Governments/UTs for implementing the aims and objects of the Act and the Master Plan prepared by the Commission
  1. To give directions to the Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board
  2. To give directions to Panchayats, Municipalities and Municipal Corporations
  3. To constitute a monitoring body consisting of experts to ensure proper and timely execution of the projects as envisaged in the master plan and as directed by the Commission
  • To constitute State Ganga Commissions.
  • To lay down further rules/guidelines in addition to what is provided under the Act.
  1. To review and monitor the working of State Ganga Commission and the other wings/bodies/committees under this Act.
  2. To give, its opinion or decisions on any reference received from the Central Government or any State Governments mentioned in sub-section (2) of section (1) or any specified State Government which may be referred for consideration by the National  Ganga Commission
  3. To work in a transparent manner and keep the public involve through detail information time to time of its goals initiative and achievements and to prepare and publish a yearly status report.
  • To strictly enforce the prohibited activities and prescribe guidelines for regulated activities.
  • To perform such other functions as may be required for carrying out the aims and objects of the Act.
  • Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, the directions given by the National Ganga Commission shall be binding on the concerned authority, Central Government, State Government, Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Boards, Panchayats, Municipalities and Municipal Corporation in so far as it related to the aims and objects and provisions contained in the Act.
  • The National Ganga Commission shall evolve its own procedure for effective implementation of its decisions, the Master Plan, long-term and short-term plans.
  • Until the preparation of master plan, the national Ganga commission shall prepare such plans and ensure their execution as short term and immediate measures which are required to prevent any further deterioration of the river Ganga and its floodplains. These measures will ultimately merge with the long term measures as envisaged in the master plan.

Note:- An illustrative guideline of short term and long term plans for execution of master plan are put in the schedule III which will be finalized by the National Ganga Commission.

Section 22:  Emergency measures in case of pollution of River Ganga or its tributaries

The National Ganga Commission  suo-moto or on recommendation or information from the Central Government or  any State Governments mentioned in sub-section (2) of section (1)  or any specified State Government or person, is of the opinion that any project or activity is detrimental and likely to affect the flow of the river Ganga or that any  poisonous noxious or polluting matter is present or has entered into the River Ganga due to any accident or other unforeseen events, it shall forthwith take appropriate measures for mitigating the likely damage to the river Ganga or for  removal of such matter and take such  remedial measures, as the case may be, or may direct any  other Authority or person and such  Authority or person shall be bound to comply with the directions so  issued by the National  Ganga Commission.

Section 23: Custodianship, Superintendence, direction and control of the conservation of River Ganga to vest in National Ganga Commission.

The custodianship, Superintendence, direction and control for the conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga (including financial and administrative matters) shall notwithstanding anything contained in any other law shall vest with the National Ganga Commission and to be exercised either directly or through any other Authority or person in the manner prescribed by National Ganga Commission.

Section 24: Power to issue direction, impose fine & initiate criminal proceedings

  • Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the National Ganga Commission shall be the competent authority to give directions to the Central Government/State Government authorities, Boards, institutions, to carry out their statutory obligations under different Central/State Acts and in case of failure of the said authorities, Boards, institutions, the National Ganga Commission or the State Ganga Commission, as the case may be, shall be competent to give directions with regard to the following matters:

(a)   the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process which may be necessary for the achievement of prevention, control and  elimination of pollution in the River Ganga and its Basin

(b)Stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service which may be necessary for the achievement of prevention, control and elimination of pollution in River Ganga and its Basin.

(c) to stop construction of any structure on the river or its flood plain.

(d) to undertake any measures to maintain continuous flow in the River Ganga;

(e) to release water to maintain uninterrupted flow in the River Ganga;

(f) to cease and desist from doing any act which may be detrimental to the prevention, control and  elimination of pollution in the River Ganga.

(g) to take any other action which in the interest of River Ganga may be considered necessary.

(2) In addition to the above, the National Ganga Commission shall have the power to impose fine for causing damage to the river Ganga on polluter pays principle or initiate criminal proceedings against the person or authority responsible for non-compliance or violations of directions issued for the conservation, protection &   rejuvenation of river Ganga.

Section 25: Jurisdiction of National Ganga Commission

The Jurisdiction of the National Ganga Commission shall extend to the States mentioned in subsection (2) of Section 1 of this Act and such other States through which River Ganga flows or having tributaries of the River Ganga or, as the National Ganga Commission may decide for the purposes of effective elimination of pollution and rejuvenation of the River Ganga. Over time, with the consent of Central Government the National Ganga Commission may extend its jurisdiction to the other rivers of our nation and use its experience and expertise to similarly rejuvenate, conserve and protect the other water bodies.

CHAPTER IX

CONSTITUTION OF ADVISORY BODY OF NATIONAL GANGA COMMSSION

Section 26: Constitution of Advisory body

(1)The National Ganga Commission shall constitute an advisory body for effective implementation of the objectives of the Act and the provisions contained herein and for that purpose, it shall have members from the various fields including law, agriculture, religious, NGOs, politics, ecology, river hydrology, geology, glaciology, wildlife, economic, water resource management, socio-cultural and spiritual aspects, as well as representatives of the Central Government and State Governments.

(2) That the number of members of advisory body shall be decided by the National Ganga Commission but in no case, they will be less than 10 in number.

(3) The National Ganga Commission shall frame Rules defining the role and functions of the Advisory Body.

 

CHAPTER X

CONSTITUTION AND FUNCTIONS OF STATE GANGA COMMISSIONS

Section 27: Constitution and Functions of State Ganga Commissions.

  • The National Ganga Commission shall constitute a State Ganga Commission for every State or as deemed necessary for the purpose of this Act.
  • The State Ganga Commissions shall be the executive body of National Ganga Commission and shall take all such measures which may be necessary to give effect to the decisions of the National Ganga Commission so as to achieve the final goal of Aviral and Nirmal Ganga endowed with Gangatva in a time-bound manner.
  • In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the forgoing functions, the State Ganga Commissions shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely:-
  1. To effectively monitor the execution of the projects falling under respective jurisdictions of the State and submit monthly report to the National Ganga Commission.
  2. To issue such directions to the the Central Government/State Government authorities, Boards, institutions, to carry out their statutory obligations under different Central/State Acts and in case of failure of the said authorities, Boards, institutions, as may be necessary in order to give effect to the decisions/directions taken by the National Ganga Commission.
  • To be the Nodal agency to coordinate and ensure the  compliance, performance  and implementation  of the provisions of this Act and Rules.
  1. To address bottlenecks and suggest measures as may be necessary to ensure speedy implementation of the plans and strategies ;
  2. To suggest/advice or provide any technical expertise, as the case may be;
  3. To take all such other emergency measures as deemed necessary and appropriate.
  • To identify the causes which affect the Aviralta and Nirmalta of the river Ganga and to prepare a report village-wise, town-wise or city-wise and submit the same to the National Ganga Commission.
  • To constitute sub committees or bodies in District for the purposes of effective implementation and monitoring.
  • In addition to the above, the State Commission shall carry out the functions as assigned in the guidelines prepared by the National Ganga Commission.

Section 28: Power to issue Directions, impose fines & initiate criminal proceedings.

The State Ganga Commission shall be the competent authority to give any directions for the violation of norms of prohibited or regulated categories under this act or any such directions as may be prescribed by the National Ganga Commission related to the conservation of River Ganga in their respective State. If directions of State Ganga Commission are not complied with, the State Commission shall have the power to impose a fine on the basis of polluter pays principle, in addition to initiating criminal proceedings against such person or authority responsible for non-compliance or violations of directions.

CHAPTER XI

FUNDS, ACCOUNTS, AUDIT AND ANNUAL REPORT

 

Section 29:  Funds and Grants of the Commission

(1) The funds of the Commission shall consist of –

(a) Moneys appropriated to it by the National Assembly;

(b) Fees, charges and other moneys or properties which may become payable to or vest in the Commission in respect of the performance of its functions; and

(2) The Central Government shall, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, make in each financial year such contribution to the National Ganga Commission as it may think necessary to enable the  National Ganga Commission to perform its function under this Act. This sum shall constitute the fund of the National Ganga Commission.

(3) The Commission shall have control over the use of its funds.

(4) The Central Government may guarantee, in such manner as it think fit, the repayment of the principal and the payment of interest thereon with respect to the loan borrowed by the National Ganga Commission.

Section 30: Budget of National Ganga Commission and State Ganga Commissions.

(1)The  Commission  shall, during each financial year, prepare in such form and at such time as  may be prescribed, a budget in respect of the financial year next ensuing showing the estimated receipt and expenditure, and copies thereof shall be forwarded to Central Government.

(2) The Commission shall ensure transparency while exercising its powers and discharging its functioning in particular to accounting and financial management.

Section 31: Exemption from tax on income of National Ganga Commission.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) or any other enactment for the time being in force relating to tax on income, profits or gains the National Ganga Commission shall not be liable to pay any income- tax or any tax in respect of their income, profits or gain derived.

Section 32: Books of accounts and Audit of National Ganga Commission.

(1)The National and State Ganga Commission shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts in such form as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.

(2) The Commission shall as soon as may be after receipt of the audit report, cause the same to be approved and forward the same to the Central Government to be laid before each House of Parliament.

(3) The accounts maintained by the  National Ganga Commission  shall be audited by the Comptroller and Audit-General of  India at such intervals as may be specified by him and any expenditure incurred in connection with such audit shall be payable by the Commission  to the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

Section 33: Annual Report returns etc. of the National Ganga Commission.

(1) The   National Ganga Commission shall, within three months of the end of every year, prepare or ensure to be prepared an annual report of all work undertaken by the National Ganga Commission.

(2) The annual report referred to in sub-section (1) shall include status of the plans or programs or projects planned and get executed by the Commission and such other particulars, and information as may be prescribed

(3) The copies of the consolidated annual report and other reports and audited accounts prepared under sub-section (1) shall be forwarded by the  Commission to the Central Government which shall be laid, as soon as may be after these are received, before each House of Parliament.

 

CHAPTER XII

GANGA SEWAK DAL

Section 34: Constitution of Ganga Sewak Dal

(1)There shall be constituted and maintained by the Central Government, the Ganga Sewak Dal for the purpose of enforcement, rejuvenation, conservation and protection of river Ganga under this Act.

(2) These sewaks will act as watchdogs and monitor 15-20 kms (or as prescribed) stretches of the rivers. They will discharge their duty in an affable and pleasant manner. The goal of the Ganga Sewak Dal will be to involve the public and get its job done through cooperation rather than antagonism.

(3) The personnel to be engaged for the Ganga Sewak Dal shall be provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs on receipt of the demand from the National Ganga Commission. The place of deployment and the terms of conditions of the Ganga Sewak Dal shall  be such as may be prescribed.

(4) On deployment to the National Ganga States Authority, the general superintendence, direction and control of the Ganga sewak dal shall vest in the National Ganga Commission  as may be specified.

(5) The Ganga sewaks shall spread awareness in their area, be responsible to print posters and boards informing the public of the various rules and generally involve the public in conservation through good will and education. Any Ganga sewak with distinguished service shall be suitably awarded by the National Ganga Commission. Offences by a Ganga Sewak shall also be viewed in a strict light.

(6) Without prejudice to the power of arrest vested to police officer under any law for the time being in force, if any member of the Ganga Sewak Dal has reason to believe that any person has committed an offence punishable under this Act, and is refusing to comply after atleast two warnings, he may arrest or cause to be arrested any person who commits an offence under this Act, take such person in custody or cause him to be taken in custody to the nearest police station.

(7) Any person arrested for an offence under this Act shall be produced before the nearest Magistrate within period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the Magistrate unless he is released earlier on giving bail or if his true name and address are ascertained on executing a bond without sureties for his appearance before the Magistrate having jurisdiction to try him for the offence.

(8)Save otherwise specified; the Ganga Sewak Dal shall follow the procedure as prescribed in Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”

CHAPTER XIII
OFFENCES & PENALTIES

 

Section 35: Major offences causing damage to the Aviralta, Nirmalta or Gangatva of the National River Ganga and her tributaries.  

Construction of certain structures or activities directly or indirectly adversely impacting and disturbing the Natural flow – Aviralta, Pristine flow – Nirmalta or Unique Gangajal properties – Gangatva by  impacting on the riverine ecosystem, the flora & fauna, degrading the water quality and flow of the Ganga and her tributaries. Alteration or diversion of flow. Disposal of sewage of any group, non-commercial/commercial establishment, Govt. building etc. (having more than 100 residents/employees), any chemical or industrial effluents, any bio-medical waste, inorganic solid waste, mining, crushing, deforestation. Any unpermitted construction of buildings, plants or industries, municipal structures, infrastructure on the floodplains or secondary zone as per provisions of the Act and as prescribed by NGC which adversely impacts the flow and quality of river Ganga and her tributaries directly or indirectly shall be considered as Major offences.

  1. 1Construction or activities causing diversion or alteration of flow.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, no person or authority shall :

  1. Construct jetties or ports or permanent structures for storage or diversion or control or channelization of water into or from River Ganga or its tributaries; or
  2. Cause or direct to be caused obstruction or discontinuity of water in River Ganga or its tributaries due to engineered diversion of water or storage of water or by any other means such as dams, barrages, canals etc.
  1. 2Discharge of any treated or untreated sewage, industrial effluents and solid waste.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, and within a time as specified, no person or authority including municipal corporation, urban local bodies, gram panchayat, cantonment Boards etc. shall :

  1. establish or take any steps to establish any industrial, residential  or commercial  premises, structure  or buildings in secondary core zone and all prohibited areas as per the Act and as prescribed by NGC.
  2. discharge any  sewage, chemicals, bio-medical waste, or trade/industrial effluents, etc directly or indirectly into the river Ganga, her tributaries, or directly or indirectly into the floodplains and secondary core zone.
  3. Discharge directly or indirectly any kind of inorganic solid-wastes including bio-medical waste, E-waste, plastics, metals, etc.
  4. Dispose incinerated waste of any kind, including Bio- medical Waste, Battery wastes, Hazardous wastes, Plastic wastes, etc in River Ganga, it’s flood plains or its tributaries.
  5. Use any sewerage or network, pipes, or any such devices or structures for carrying industrial waste, sewage, chemical effluents etc. in the river Ganga, her tributaries, floodplains or secondary core zone.
  6. Pumping effluents into the soil in anywhere in the basin.
  7. 3Abstraction of river water for industrial or commercial usage or sale.

No person, industry or authority shall withdraw the water of River Ganga and her tributaries for industrial or commercial consumption or sale.

  1. Mining of minerals, quarrying and crushing.

As per the provisions of this Act;

  1. No person or authority shall carry on any operation or activity involving mining or dredging in river-bed or active flood plain area of the National River Ganga and her primary core zone.
  2. No person or authority shall carry on any mining of boulders and stone quarrying in the National River Ganga and her secondary core zone.
  3. No person or authority shall set up a stone crushing unit within 5 kms from the secondary core zone of the National River Ganga.
  1. 5Deforestation of hill-slopes and forest and other sensitive areas.

No person or authority shall undertake any deforestation of hill-slopes, forest and other sensitive areas notified by any authority as prescribed by NGC and as per provisions of the Act.

  1. 6Dumping of Muck in the river Ganga or its Tributaries.

No person or authority shall dump any kind of muck generated after any kind of anthropogenic activities such as road construction or widening and other constructions into the River Ganga or its Tributaries.

(7) Whoever fails to comply with the provision of sub-section 1 to 6 shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to five crore rupees or imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years or with both. An additional fine which may extend to one lakh rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such failure or contravention

Section 36: Mediocre offences causing damage to the Aviralta, Nirmalta or Gangatva of the National River Ganga and her tributaries.

Encroachments in riverbed. Unpermitted construction by any individual as prescribed by NGC and as per provisions of this Act. All activities that lead to pollution in the river by means of disposing offensive material in the river. Commercial exploitation of the river-waters/ ground-water in flood plains and secondary core zone. Sewage disposed from any small-scale establishments (having less than 100 individuals; commercial or non-commercial), small-scale hotels/resorts etc. (less than 25 rooms) that directly enter into the river Ganga or her tributaries or enter directly or indirectly into floodplains and secondary core zone. Usage of transport that pollute the river water quality. Usage of chemicals and other inorganic substances that indirectly enter floodplains of the river Ganga and her tributaries and secondary core zone.

No person or authority shall-

  1. Carry out fishing by way of any mechanized operation for commercial fishing in River Ganga or her tributaries.
  2. Carry out any operation or any activity involving commercial silting or aqua cultural activity in River Ganga; or any activities defiling, demeaning or polluting recreational activities  such as sea planes, cafes, restaurants on River Ganga.
  3. Dispose of any inorganic chemical based statues or other chemical based worship materials.
  4. Carry out commercial transportation via motorized boats.
  5. Carry out abstraction of groundwater for industrial or commercial activities through wells from the primary and secondary core zone of River Ganga and other zones of her basin as may be notified by the National Ganga Commission for the purpose of this Act.
  6. Use chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other non-organic inputs which will discharge indirectly into floodplains in the primary and secondary core zone of River Ganga and other zones of her basin as may be notified by the National Ganga Commission for the purpose of this Act.
  7. Carry out encroachment activities in river bed or flood plain by way of permanent structures in river Ganga and its Tributaries.
  8. Discharge any kind of sewage, solid organic waste, or small quantities of inorganic solid wastes, etc, into the river Ganga and her tributaries.
  9. Unpermitted construction by any individual in floodplains or secondary zone as prescribed by NGC and as per the provisions of this Act.

(10) All mediocre offences from 1 to 9 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend up to two years or with fine, which may extend up to fifty lakh rupees, or both. An additional fine shall extend upto twenty five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such failure or contravention.

Section 37: Minor offences causing damage to the Aviralta, Nirmalta or Gangatva of the National River Ganga and her tributaries.

Damaging the pristine nature of the river by throwing unpermitted organic waste into the river or usage of plastic bags, personal chemical usage items – soaps, shampoos etc or deposition of very small quantity of inorganic material or conducting such activities – like spitting, defecation, vehicle washing etc that are disrespectful, demeaning towards the national river.

No person shall-

  1. Spoil or deface any Ghats or Stairs or throw offensive matter in the River Ganga or her tributaries.
  2. Sale and use of chemical based/plastic wrapped worship items, or those having any inorganic component.
  3. Use of soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc. in the river Ganga and her tributaries.
  4. Washing vehicles in the river Ganga and her tributaries.
  5. Use of plastic bags in establishments or shops in the near vicinity, by any individual or deposition of the same in the river.
  6. Defecate or urinate in the river Ganga and tributaries or their banks and ghats.
  7. Use of alcoholic beverages, smoking, playing cards or any such demeaning activities on the banks or Ghats of the National River Ganga.

(7). All offences under subsection 1 to 7, are punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend upto two months or fine upto five thousand rupees, or with both.   An additional fine which may extend to one thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such failure or contravention.

Section 38: Offences and penalties for those establishments operating before enactment of the act

The NGC or the SGC shall issue closure notices for all projects, industries and enterprises operational or established before the enactment of this act without imposing any penalty or other punishment. If after receipt of the notice the said proponent does not comply within a period prescribed by NGC or SGC, then he shall be liable to be convicted under offences and penalty as per the categories specified in subsection.

Section 39: Punishment for failure to comply with direction 

Whoever fails to comply with  any directions issued by the Central Government or the National Ganga Commission or  State Ganga Commission, in relation to  causing pollution in river Ganga and her tributaries or obstructing flow of water in River Ganga, under provisions of this Act,  shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years, or with fine upto five lakh rupees  or with both and in case such failure continues, with an additional  fine which may extend to two lakhs rupees for every day during which such default  or contravention continues after the first such default or contravention.

Section 40: Penalty for causing pollution in River Ganga where no separate penalty has been provided thereof

  1. Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or fails to comply with any order or direction given under this Act for which  no penalty is expressly provided by this Act,  shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or imprisonment which may extend to three months or both , and in the case of a continuing failure, with an additional fine which may extend to two thousand rupees for every day during which such contravention continues  after the conviction of the first contravention or failure.
  2. NGC or SGC , after enactment of this Act shall identity the causes and activities for the entire basin and after thorough consideration of all other aspects like transition period for compliance of directions under this Act, etc. shall categorize the activities in the manner prescribed.

Section 41: Offences under this Act to be cognizable and Non-bailable. 

“Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, an offence under this Act shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

CHAPTER XIV

MISCELLANEOUS.

Section 42: Effect of other laws

(1) Subject to provision of this Act and the rules or orders made therein shall have effect, notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other than this Act.

(2) Where any act or omission constitutes an offence punishable under this Act and also under any other Act rules or orders or direction made or issued thereunder then the offender found guilty of such offence shall be liable for punishment under this Act.

Section 43: Compounding of certain offences

(1) Any such offence punishable under the Act may either, before or after, the institution of the prosecution, be compounded by such officers or authorities and for such amount as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf

(2) Where an offence has been compounded under sub-section (1), the offender, if in custody, shall be discharged only, after the fine is paid and no action shall be initiated or continue, as the case may be, against the person committing such contravention or offence under that section, in respect of the contravention of offence so compounded

(3) The sum compounded under sub-section (2) for an offence shall not exceed the maximum amount of the fine, which may be imposed under this Act for the offence so compounded and the sum compounded shall be deposited and managed on such  compounding in such manner as may be prescribed

 

 

Section 44: Offences by companies

(1) Where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time offence was committed, was directly in-charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly;

Provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in this sub-section (1) where an offence under this Act is committed by company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation- for the purposes of this section

(a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm and other association of individuals;

(b) “director’ in the relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm

Section 45: Offences by Government Departments

(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by any Department of Government, the Head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Provided that nothing contained in this section shall render such Head of the Department liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where, an offence under this Act has been committed by a Department of Government and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any officer other than the Head of the Department, such officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Section 46: Offences by Local Authorities 

(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by any Local authority, the Head of the Local authority shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this section shall render such Head of the  Local authority liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where, an offence under this Act has been committed by a Local authority and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any other officer than such officer of the Local authority shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Section 47: Cognizance of offence 

No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act except on a complaint by:-

(a) the Central Government or National Ganga Commission or by any Officer authorized by the National Ganga Commission or Ganga Sewak Dal or State Ganga Commission.

(b) any person who has given notice of not less than 15 days in the manner prescribed of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint to the Central Government, National  Ganga Commission or any  Officer authorized in this regard.

Section 48: Bar of Jurisdiction 

No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of anything done, action taken or order or direction issued by the National Ganga Commission or any other officer in pursuance of any power conferred by or in relation to its or his functions under this Act.

Section 49: Powers to delegate 

Without prejudice to the provisions under this Act, the National Ganga Commission, may, by notification in the Official Gazette, delegate, subject to such conditions and limitations as may be specified in the notifications, such of its powers and functions under this Act, as it may deem necessary or expedient, to any officer, State Government or other authority.

Section 50: Power to make rules.

(1) The Central Government may by notification in the official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2)  In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely-

(a) Recruitment and administrative operational procedure

(b) Terms and conditions of service of sanctioned posts and members, as applicable, under the  provision of this Act.

(c) Manner in the superintendence, directions to be exercised by National Ganga Commission.

(d) Manner in which Books of Account or other documents to be maintained

(e) Procedure and formats for preparation of Annual Reports, Annual Work Plan and Budget.

(f) Any such rules and regulation deemed necessary for effective enactment of the provision of this Act.

Section 51: Application of other law not barred

The provision of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the provision of any other law for the time being in force.

Section 52: Power to remove difficulties

If any difficulties arise in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as may appear to be necessary for removing the difficulties.

Provide that no order shall be made under this section after expiry of five years from the appointed day.

Section 53: Rules/Notifications/orders/regulations made under this Act to be laid before the Parliament

Every  rule or notification/order or regulation made under this Act  shall be laid, as soon as may be, after it is made, before each House of Parliament while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

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