Draft Ganga Act to draw from Highways Act [Governance]
A first-of-its-kind bill to regulate a river — the Ganga Act, as it is now called and being drafted by experts — will draw from the National Highways Act and allow the Centre final say over States during disputes over management of its water.
The National Highways Authority of India Act empowers the Central government to have complete power over roads designated as “national highways.”
It also gives them authority over bridges, culverts and associated land stretches near highways.
The Union Water Resources Ministry is the nodal agency in charge of implementing the Rs. 20,000-crore National Clean Ganga Mission by 2022, and has so far spent only around Rs. 320 crore, despite Rs. 2,000 crore being sanctioned.
Nearly 70% of the budget is to be apportioned for commissioning sewage treatment plants.
The proposed Ganga Act was to ensure that future disputes that could arise in the proper management of the river were avoided.