New Delhi [India], July 10 (ANI): The Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has reiterated that all major projects on Ganga under the Namami Gange programme will be completed by the end of 2020 and soon the work will start on its tributaries.
Considered as a sacred river, Ganga is a lifeline to millions who live along its course.
Under the Namami Gange programme, which was launched in 2015, the government has launched several projects for pollution abatement, conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga.
Speaking exclusively to ANI, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said, "As far as pollution abatement is concerned, we have been able to plan out all the projects and sanction all the projects on mainstream of Ganga as well as the major tributary towns.""All the projects of Uttarakhand are likely to be completed within this year, in the next few months. So, one state is completely covered. In Jharkhand as well, all the projects will be completed. I think we have only two projects, of which one is already completed and the other is nearing completion," he added.
In Uttar Pradesh, cities like Kanpur, Prayagraj and Varanasi are the major contributors to pollution in Ganga. Mishra said that all projects in these major cities will be completed on priority.
"All the projects of the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Prayagraj have been contracted. Projects in Trans Yamuna and Trans Ganga areas like Phaphamau and Jhusi also already awarded. In Varanasi, two projects have also been inaugurated and the third one at the Yamuna will be completed by September and by November we are trying to expedite, so this year you will have actually all the sewer treatment plants ready in Varanasi, Kanpur and Prayagraj," Mishra said.
Mishra added that not much initiatives were taken by Bihar state to control pollution in Ganga. Under the Namami Gange programme, construction of STPs remains the priority.
"At present, we have something like 60 MLD capacity which also does not work very properly and at the end of Namami Gange projects which have been taken up, it will be going to something 650 MLD," said Mishra.
"Additionally, the two projects in Patna - Bangur and Karmalichak are actually again like Haridwar, in consideration that they are going to be completed before the time. So they will be adding 80 MLD in Patna itself so you can understand 60 MLD since so many years and 80 MLD will be completed in the last two years," he added.
Ganga basin is the largest river basin in India in terms of the catchment area, constituting 26 per cent of the country's landmass, that is, 8,61,404 Sq. kilometres, and supporting about 43 per cent of its population.
The current focus of World Bank funded National Ganga River Basin Projects (NGRBP) of NMCG is on five major states on the main stem of river Ganga, namely, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
Mishra said that several projects in West Bengal have already been completed and few of them are near completion.
"In Bengal, three projects are complete, three more will be completed this year and then most of the projects will be completed by next year. So, for the majority of the projects on Ganga mainstream, our mission period is up to 2020. By December 2020 or 2021, a very large number of projects on Ganga would be completed," Mishra said.
"Tributaries work has also started, so in the next 2-3 years, it will be near completion. One advantage has been that the timing for the completion of projects has reduced. Earlier projects used to take 3 to 5 years or even 6 years and they lingered on, whereas, now they are getting completed in less than 2 to 3 years. So, I think we have been able to really improve the execution of projects on the ground," he added.
Under the Namami Gange programme, some 100 new ghats have been constructed on the banks of Ganga. (ANI)