In modern times, the Ganga River System's water quality has been significantly polluted by disposal of anthropogenic wastes into the rivers. The wastes include both solid and liquid wastes of hazardous and non-hazardous types generated mostly from domestic, industrial and agricultural sources. Liquid wastes from large urban centres and industries are major point sources of pollution, while surface runoff containing agrochemicals and entrained solid wastes are some major non-point pollution
To check river pollution, it is necessary to: (A) Completely prohibit major pollutant discharges into rivers by discharge of sewage (either treated or untreated) from Class I towns; discharge of industrial effluents (either treated or untreated) from any large, medium or cluster of small industries; direct injection of sewage and industrial effluents (either treated or untreated) into the subsurface; disposal of un-burnt and partially burnt corpses and animal carcasses in rivers; open defecation and dumping of municipal/industrial solid wastes or sludge in any river or its active flood plain; and construction of new residential, commercial or industrial structures in river flood plains. (B) Restrict other pollutant discharges by discharge of sewage (either treated or untreated) from Class II and smaller towns and villages; disposal of sewage or industrial treatment sludges except in secure landfills/hazardous waste sites; discharge of industrial effluents (either treated or untreated) from small scale industry; disposal and/or discharge of mining and construction debris in any river or its floodplains; river bed farming and agricultural activities in the active flood plain; ritual immersion of idols, floral and other offerings , and washing of clothes, vehicles, etc., in rivers; and usage of agrochemicals in NRGB.
In keeping with the above requirements, the main recommendations are grouped under the following heads: (1) Management of Solid and Liquid Wastes Generated from Domestic/Commercial Sources; (2) Riverfront Development, Floodplain Management and Rejuvenation of Water Bodies; (3) Management of Solid and Liquid Waste Generated from Industrial Sources; and (4) Management of Polluted Agricultural Runoff. Effective co-ordination of these activities is envisaged through a high-level constitutional body tentatively named the 'National River Ganga Basin Management Commission' (NRGBMC), pending whose formation the NMCG or some other dedicated government body may coordinate the activities.
Project planning for urban works should begin with preparation of detailed Urban River Management Plans (URMP) for Class I towns, and subsequently also for Class II and Class III towns. The URMPs should be followed by preparation of DPRs, following which funds should be allocated for project implementation. Fund allocation should be prioritized for projects designed to prevent direct discharge of large quantities of liquid waste into the River System (Priority Level I), followed by projects designed to prevent direct discharge of large quantities of solid waste into the River System (Priority Level II), followed by projects concerning river-frame development and restoration of floodplain in urban areas along the Ganga River System (Priority Level III). Other projects under Mission Nirmal Dhara may be executed at still lower priority depending on availability of funds.
Financing of the above projects may be obtained from central/state governments, local revenue, corporate and private donations and grants, low cost debt from multinational organizations, commercial debts from banks and private equity. Category A and Category B projects are recommended for execution through the PPP route (such as the DBFO model) with initial investment from the service provider, while Category C projects may be executed by the concerned industries themselves and through SPVs for industrial clusters. Category D projects may be synergistically executed with other government projects as per actions desired under other Missions of GRBMP.