Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation,  Nitin Gadkari is hopeful about cleaning of Ganga by up to 70-80% by March 2019. He said that it is a general perception that nothing significant is being done under Namami Gange Programme but this is not correct. “About 251 gross polluting industries (GPI) have been closed and closure directions have been issued to non complying GPIs,” Gadkari said.

The minister said, real time monitoring of pollutions is being done in 938 industries. About 211 main ‘Nallas’ have been identified which are causing pollution in Ganga and 20 modular STPs are being deployed to treat Nalla water. Regular review meetings with all the states government officials, contractors, consultants are being done and obstacles regarding DPR’s, tendering process, finalisation of design, payment to contractors are being removed for speedy completion of projects.

Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti said that almost all the 4,470 villages on the bank of Ganga are now Open Defecation  Free (ODF) and now we are working on the strategy of ODF plus. She said measures like solid-liquid waste management, tree plantation, making villages and towns plastic free and awareness programmes are being adopted. Bharti said, “Our ministry is working on Ganga Gram Project which is based on holistic development of villages situated on the bank of Ganga with active participation of villages. Organic farming, water conservation project, proper disposal of solid and Liquid waste and renovation of Ponds will be emphasized in Ganga Grams”.

Namami Gange an integrated Ganga Conservation Mission is an umbrella programme with the aim to integrate previous, currently ongoing and new projects planned as part of the programme at an indicative cost of Rs. 20,000 crore. The programme is to be implemented over a period of five years ending on December 2020. ‘Namami Gange’ approaches Ganga Rejuvenation by consolidating the existing and ongoing efforts and planning for a comprehensive action plan for future. Under Namami Gange programme, a total of 195 projects have been sanctioned for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria development, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation, and public participation.

-Initiatives taken by NMCG

Among some of the new initiatives that have been taken by National Mission for Clean Ganga are “One City One Operator” as part of which STPs in 7 towns (Kanpur, Allahabad, Mathura, Patna, Kolkata, Howrah-Bally, Bhagalpur) are being integrated and tendered with Hybrid Annuity based projects. Four have already been tendered (Kanpur, Allahabad, Mathura and Kolkata. The focus under Namami Gange programme has been on 10 major towns contributing almost 64% of total sewage discharge. Apart from that performance evaluation of existing STPs have been completed in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and project engineers for Haridwar and Varanasi projects have been appointed. Besides, annual inspection of GPIs through technical institutions in a time bound manner along with close monitoring of milestones is being done. New projects are being taken up on tributaries. 

For River Front Development, works at 152 ghats and 54 crematoria are in progress and expected to be completed by 2018 at an estimated cost of Rs. 683.32 crore. Patna River Front Development project worth Rs 254.52 crore is at advanced stage of completion (more than 85% work done). Under this, 20 ghats and 6.6 km of promenade are being developed among other services that include toilets, bathrooms, changing rooms etc. Pathri ghat in Patna which was developed under Namami Gange programme won 2A Asia Architecture Award 2016. One project of RFD at Chandi ghat in Haridwar involving a cost of about Rs. 50 crore is 68% complete.

Forty four Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Station (RTWQMS) are operational under Namami Gange programme to keep water quality check. As abatement of industrial pollution which has been a prime focus of National Mission for Clean Ganga, survey of all 938 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) was conducted. Out of 938 GPIs, 251 were closed and closure notices were given to non-complying GPIs.

11 trash skimmers have been deployed at Haridwar, Garh Mukhteshwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna, Sahibganj, Nabadwip, Howrah, Delhi and Mathura-Vrindavan. On rural sanitation front, all 4465 villages on the bank of river Ganga have been made Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 10,83,688 Individual Household Toilets have been constructed. Five State Ganga Committees and 48 District Ganga Committees on main stem of River Ganga, constituted for effective monitoring of projects and activities. Five crore plants are being planted along Ganga basin as part of the afforestation drive involving an amount of Rs. 112 crores intended for preventing erosion of soil and groundwater recharge in the Ganga basin. A comprehensive bio-diversity conservation programme is being undertaken through Wildlife Institute of India involving a cost of Rs. 25 crore. Afforestation campaign with public participation has been taken up.

A Composite Ecological Task Force with headquarters at Allahabad and three companies of 100 men each is being raised with Territorial Army. They would be taking up plantation, public awareness, patrolling of river fronts and monitoring of river pollution.  

In Uttarakhand, 31 projects have been sanctioned out of which 13 have been completed and in 18 work is under progress. The projects in Kirtinagar, Tapovan, Uttarkashi, Rishikesh are likely to be completed by June 2018, projects in Joshimath, Srinagar, Haridwar network by Nov 2018 and projects in Badrinath, Chamoli, Nandprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag, Haridwar (Interception and Diversion work) by December 2018.

In Uttar Pradesh, 30 projects have been sanctioned out of which eight have been completed and work is under progress on nie projects. Three tenders are under evaluation and 10 under tendering. The completed projects include  projects in Allahabad (completed in year four 2015, 2016) and four projects (Garhmukteshwar, Kannauj, Anupshahar and Narora) in April 2018. The projects which are likely to be completed are  [Allahabad Dist C and Dist E (Additional) by May 2018, Moradabad by June 2018, Varanasi (JICA- Dinapur) by July 2018, Kanpur (Sismau nala), Allahabad Dist A by October 2018 Allahabad Dist B and Varanasi (Ramana) by December 2019. Tenders are under evaluation for Chunar and Mathura. The projects under tendering are Bithoor, Ramnagar, Unnao, Shuklaganj, Kanpur (Pankha), Allahabad (Jhusi, Naini, and Phaphamau), Farrukhabad, Mirzapur, Ghazipur, rehabilitation of existing STPs in Allahabad.

In Bihar, 20 projects have been sanctioned out of which work is under progress on 10 projects while four are under evaluation and six under tendering. The locations where work is under progress are Buxar and in various zones of Patna. In Barh, Sultanganj, Mokama,

Naugachia tenders have been received and evaluation is in process whereas tenders are to be floated for Bhagalpur, Digha and Kankarbagh zones of Patna. In Jharkhand, two projects are under progress in Sahibganj where a 12 MLD STP, 55 km Sewer are being constructed. The project is likely to be completed by December 2018. Another project in Rajmahal of creation of 3.5 MLD STP, 34 km sewer has recently been awarded and likely to be completed by June 2019.

In West Bengal, there are 15 projects that have been sanctioned out of which two have been completed; work is under progress on four projects while four others are under tendering.

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