Ganga council meeting

Cities should be responsible for rejuvenating their rivers

Hon'ble Prime Minister, Ganga Council Meeting, Dec '19

pm message

There is need for new thinking for ‘River Cities’

Hon'ble Prime Minister, Ganga Council Meeting, Dec '19


Pollution Abatement

FSTP at Unnao, Uttar Pradesh


Designing with Nature

Ecological sensitivity of the river basin

URMP consultation workshop

Experts Consultation

Brainstorming on URMP


River-sensitive Urban Planning

Varanasi city on the banks of Ganga


Cultural Connect with the River

Ghat at Varanasi

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Introducing the Project

Rivers in the Ganga River Basin are facing increasing threats on several fronts. Pollution concerns are escalating. Streams are drying up. River-supported biodiversity is disappearing. Citizens are losing their connect with rivers. The list goes on. A common element in all these is the anthropogenic (human) factor, especially that associated with disruptive activities. Somehow these disruptive activities are more prevalent in urban areas (cities). So, it may not be incorrect to say that cities have largely been responsible for the sorry state of the rivers. Therefore, any improvement in the river’s state cannot be achieved without first addressing the issues and drivers in urban areas. Cities in the basin, therefore, have a central role to play in the rejuvenation and replenishment of the rivers. This project is being carried out to support cities in this endeavor.

The project activities focus on the Ganga river Basin but the outputs produced can be used by any river city in India, and abroad.

The overarching vision of this project is to promote river-sensitive development in cities. The vision is being achieved through four specific objectives:

River-Sensitive Planning

Produce a strategic guidance note to help cities mainstream river thinking into city planning.

Urban River Management

Develop a common framework for an Urban River Management Plan (URMP) that cities can use to develop their own river-specific management plans.

Piloting in Kanpur

URMP framework in the city of Kanpur.

Capacity Building

Build capacities of relevant stakeholders in various facets of river management.

Unique Features of the Project

  1. It seeks to bring the river to the heart of city planning by mainstreaming river thinking into a city’s long-term vision.
  2. It has created a first of its kind framework for an Urban River Management Plan (URMP) based on the principles of sustainable development. 97 towns along the main stem of the Ganga will use this framework.
  3. It focuses on the ‘operational’ aspects of river management with a view to bring about a change on the ground.
  4. It binds together other related work done by various organizations (e.g. SPA Delhi, INTACH, World Resources Institute, Wildlife Institute of India) under the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
  5. In association with the Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO), it seeks to propose norms and standards for the river zone in cities (something that does not exist so far).
  6. It utilizes the expertise and experience of both national and international experts.

Theory Of Change



Sh. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Hon'ble Minister for Jal Shakti, Government of India
Sh. Hardeep Singh Puri
Hon'ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Housing And Urban Affairs, Government of India
Sh. U. P. Singh
Secretary, Dept. of Water Resources, RD & GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti
Sh. Durga Shanker Mishra
Secretary, Ministry of Housing And Urban Affairs
Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India
Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs
Team Lead, NIUA
Project Coordinator, NIUA
Sr. Program Manager, NIUA
Research Associate, NIUA
Jr. Research Associate, NIUA
Shivani Saxena
Environment Planner, NMCG
Jyoti Verma
Engineer Planner, NMCG

Views from across the world

Addressing the Urban Drivers of River Health in the Ganga River Basin
Dr. Victor R. Shinde,Team lead,NMCG Project,NIUA
A Water Future for Cities: How are global cities preparing to achieve water security
Online webinar by NIUA, UNESCO & NMCG
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