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Namami Gange: Centre clears 20 projects worth Rs 1900 crore

New Delhi : The Centre has approved 20 additional projects entailing a cost of Rs 1900 crore under its ambitious Namami Gange programme. The projects, largely pertaining to creation of fresh sewage treatment infrastructure, will come up in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi.

Interestingly, more than a third of the proposed investment will be for the national Capital. The Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved setting up of a massive 564 million litre per day (MLD) sewage treatment plant at Okhla in Delhi at a cost of Rs 665 crore.

The proposed STPS will replace the existing STPs phase-I, II, III and IV. Also, two projects for laying new sewage pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli to prevent leakages have also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 100 crore.

Some of the projects in the other states entail upgradation of existing STPs and laying of sewage network in different cities in the River basin.

Several projects to set up sewage treatment infrastructure have been approved in recent weeks as part of the Centre's ongoing clean Ganga mission.

The EC of NMCG, which met in early March, also gave its approval for 13 projects in Uttarakhand, including those for creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing ones and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar. The projects are expected to cost Rs 415 crore.

The approved plan for Haridwar, visited by millions every year, is aimed at treating sewage water generated by the people. The city’s 1.5 lakh local dwellers as well as those who visit it pollute the Ganga waters.

The Centre will fund the proposed projects completely and also bear the expenditure on operation and maintenance (O&M).

Among other projects approved in Uttarakhand are four pertaining to pollution abatement works for Alakananda River to ensure cleaner flow downstream.

The projects are for interception and diversion of drains along with creation of new small STPs at four crucial locations – Joshimath, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Kirti Nagar at an estimated cost of Rs 78 crore.

Additionally, a major pollution abatement project for Ganga at Rishikesh has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 158 crore.

Beginning with Rishikesh, municipal effluent gets mixed in the Ganga and to rid the river of impurities just before it hits the plains, this all-encompassing project for this city has been given a go-ahead, which would not only make sure tapping of all city drains in Rishikesh merging into the river but will also treat the sewage water for reuse, said an official statement.

The construction of a new 26 MLD sewage treatment plant at Lakkar Ghat with online monitoring system has also been envisaged in this Rishikesh-specific project.

In Bihar, projects related to sewage-related works in Karmalichak in Patna have been given approval as also in Rajmahal in Jharkhand at entailing an expenditure of over Rs 335 crore.

To address the issue of pollution of Ganga in Varanasi, another holy city thronged by millions of pilgrims, a project under hybrid-annuity PPP model worth about Rs 151 crore has also been given the go-ahead.

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