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NMCG approves Rs 1570 cr Ganga projects in UP, Bihar, West Bengal

New Delhi : The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved 10 projects worth Rs 1573 crore under the Namami Gange programme even as a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that Uttarakhand has failed to rejuvenate the Ganga through the flagship scheme.

In its recent meeting, NMCG's Executive Committee (EC) gave the go-ahead for the projects, which are largely sewerage schemes on Ganga's main stem and its tributaries located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Additionally, one sewerage scheme in Himachal Pradesh has also been approved.

The largest project among those approved envisages rehabilitation and renovation of Agra's sewerage system to curb water pollution in Yamuna River, Ganga's second largest tributary. The project of Agra Sewerage Scheme (Interception & Diversion Works) has been conceived at a total cost of Rs 857.26 crore including operation & maintenance (O&M) cost for 15 years.

The major components of the project include tapping of 61 nalas and drains, construction of three sewerage treatment plant (STPs) of total capacity of 166 million litre per day (MLD), construction of 10 decentralized STPs of 9.38 MLD and renovation of two existing STPs besides laying of rising main of 17.61 km and renovation of sewage pumping station (SPS). It also includes renovation of STPs renovation of interception work, upgradation of STPs (for chlorination), and operation & maintenance for 15 years.

These projects are expected to drastically reduce pollution load from Agra city into the Yamuna, helping to save the Taj Mahal and leading to improvement of river water quality, ground water quality and overall aesthetics of the area.

The EC also approved interception & diversion works (I&D) and sewage treatment plant at Kasganj at a cost of Rs 76.73 crore. The project envisages construction of two I&D structures, network laying of the length of 2.8 KM and 15 MLD capacity sewage treatment plant. The cost of the project includes O&M for 15 years.

Presently, there is no sewerage system in Kasganj and the wastewater is discharged into open drains that finally meet River Kali and contribute to pollution of the river. Under this project, all drains meeting the Kali will be tapped and the wastewater will be carried out through pumping or through gravity flow to the proposed STP for treatment.

At the EC meeting, approval was also given to I&D works and a STP project at Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh at a total cost of Rs 64.76 crore in addition to O&M costs for 15 years The project scope includes construction of 7 MLD new STP, upgradation of existing 5 MLD WSP to 10 MLD aerated lagoon STP, six I&D structures for drains and an 8-km network.

Sultanpur is located on the banks of Gomti River and the waste of the town is conveyed through six drains in the town. These drains fall into Gomti River and cause pollution in it.

Several projects in Bihar have also been given the nod. The approved projects, worth Rs 328.52 crore, are in Chhapra, Fatuha, Bakhtiyarpur and Khagaria.

The Chhapra I&D and STP project entails total cost of Rs 236.15 crore and includes a STP of 32 MLD capacity and 31 I&D structures for drains, intercepting sewer and five New IPS.

The proposal intends to develop an I&D and STP of 32 MLD (in two phases of 16 MLD each) capacity at Chhapra at the site of the old STP for the treatment of the sewage generated in the town, which currently finds its way into Ghaghra and Ganga rivers. On implementation of the project, the discharge of untreated sewage will not be allowed from Chhapra into the river.

The Fatuha I&D and STP project, approved at a total cost of Rs 35.49 crore, includes a 7-MLD STP, 19 I&D structures for drains for the treatment of the sewage generated from Fatuha. The proposed STP project includes re-use of treated wastewater for irrigation purpose. Implementation the project will lead to reduced pollution load into the Ganga.

The Bakhtiyarpur I&D and STP project was approved at a total cost of Rs 35.88 crore and includes a 10 MLD STP and 6 I&D structures for drains. Presently, the sewage generated from Bakhtiyapur finds its way into Ganga.

The Khagaria I&D and STP project has been approved at a total project cost of Rs 21 Crore, including a O&M component for 15 years. Khagaria is the headquarters of Khagaria district in Munger division. The town is situated along the banks of Burhi Gandak River, which joins Ganga downstream of Khagaria.

The project involves developing interception & diversion and STP of 4.5 MLD capacity at Khagaria for treatment of the sewage generated from the town, which currently finds its way into Ganga through Burhi Gandak River. It is envisaged that treated water from the STP will be used to develop a water body and public space in the town

In West Bengal, the EC approved I&D works including pumping stations and STPs under Burdwan municipality at a total project cost of Rs 234.31 crore, including a 50-MLD STP, 19 KM network, one main pumping station (MPS).

Though Burdwan is not located immediately on the bank of Ganga, untreated wastewater from this town makes its way to the river through Banka River.

There is no centralized sewerage system in the town, which is currently facing serious sanitation problems. The entire wastewater from the upper and lower part of the municipal town flows into Banka River through surface drains. As many as 38 main outfalls have been identified.

All the outfalls to Banka River would be intercepted and diverted to proposed lift stations (LS), MPS and the proposed STP.

The NMCG has also given the go-ahead for sewerage scheme for Zone-II and III of Paonta Town in Himachal Pradesh at a total project cost of Rs 11.57 crore.

The project includes new 1.72-MLD STP, minor repair & filter in existing 0.44 MLD STP (extended aeration) and 1 MLD (extended aeration) and a 30 KLD septage handling unit.

The Paonta town is situated on the banks of the Yamuna and the river marks the boundary between Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The scheme is envisaged in three zones.

Meanwhile, NMCG is planning to set up a Ganga exhibition and a Ganga museum for public outreach and sensitise people about the need to keep the river clean and unpolluted.

The Union Water Resources has roped in experts from the European Union, including from Germany to interact with NMCG and Ministry officials and recently organised an international workshop to allow for exchange of ideas and experiences regarding various aspects of the proposed museum, knowledge centre and exhibition.

Senior Ministry officials said the proposed exhibition will depict the river’s history and its mythology besides its importance for the livelihood of a huge population that lives in its basin. The exhibition will also showcase efforts carried out for the past few years in the river’s rejuvenation.

Union Water Resources Secretary U P Singh said the proposed Ganga museum should reflect all the aspects of the river including its spiritual significance, efforts to rejuvenate it, the economic activities along its banks, its biodiversity and aquatic life.

The NMCG has been given the task to help set up the Ganga museum.

"Identification of an appropriate location will be the essence of the project", said National Mission for Clean Ganga Director-General R R Mishra. The Ganga museum should be designed in such a way as to increase the connect and motivation to keep the river clean as a continuous process, he added.

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