The ambitious project to conserve Gangetic river dolphins announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be launched in 15 days, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.
The prime minister had on the 74th Independence Day announced 'Project Dolphin', saying it will give a boost to biodiversity and create employment opportunities.
"As announced by PM @narendramodi ji on #74thIndependenceDay, @moefcc will be launching a holistic Project #Dolphin in another 15 days for the conservation and protection of the #Dolphins in the rivers and in oceans of the country," Javadekar tweeted.
The PM had on August 15 said his government wanted to promote Project Dolphin.
"We will focus on both types of dolphins living in the rivers and in the seas. This will also give a boost to biodiversity and create employment opportunities. This is also a centre of attraction for tourism. So, we are going to move forward in this direction too," Modi had said.
Gangetic river dolphins were declared national aquatic species in 2010. The Ganges river dolphin is a species of freshwater dolphins primarily found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers and their tributaries in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In India, these dolphins are sighted in long deep river reaches in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
As per official figures, there are about 3,700 Gangetic river dolphins in the Indian river systems. As river dolphins act as indicators of healthy river ecosystems, their conservation would also ensure controlling river pollution and improving availability of fish and enhancing economies of local communities through sustainable fishery, the ministry said.
"It envisages to address conservation concerns and empower the stakeholders like the river-dependent population in reducing river pollution and allowing sustainable fishery and river-based other livelihood options through scientifically oriented conservation methods," it said.