The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) held the 45th meeting of the Executive Committee under the chairmanship of G Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG and approved 14 projects worth Rs 1145 crores, said the Ministry of Jal Shakti on Saturday.
The approved projects pertain to sewerage management, industrial pollution abatement, Biodiversity Conservation, Afforestation, River Front Development and Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and include eight projects of sewerage management in five main stem Ganga basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. For sewerage management, four projects in Uttar Pradesh were approved including the tapping of the Assi drain in Varanasi by constructing a 55 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and other works costing Rs 308.09 crores.
“The project was sanctioned with the objective of achieving zero untreated discharge from three drains – Assi, Sanme ghat and Nakhha. Other projects include construction of 13 MLD STP, renovation of existing structures etc. in Vrindavan City costing Rs 77.70 crores, construction of 12 MLD STP, laying of interception and diversion (I&D) network etc. in Kosi Kalan town in Mathura district costing Rs 66.59 crores and 6 MLD STP, laying of I&D network etc. in Chhata town in Mathura district,” read an official statement.
The above projects in Mathura-Vrindavan envisage intercepting and diverting 2, 1 and 11 drains respectively that have their outfall into Kosi drain, which ultimately discharges into River Yamuna at Mathura. All the above projects are inclusive of the Operation and Maintenance of the assets for 15 years.
One project of sewerage management has also been approved for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand each including the construction of 2 STPs (17 MLD and 23 MLD).
This includes necessary ancillary infrastructures, SCADA and online monitoring system etc. in Ramgarh town, Jharkhand costing Rs. 284.80 crores, construction of 50 MLD STP, renovation of existing structures etc. in Keorapukur, West Bengal costing Rs. 67.06 crores. The project in Bihar at an estimated cost of 47.39 crore consists of 2 STPs (2.5 MLD on River Harbora and 4.5 MLD on Belwa Sathi canal), I&D networks, intake wells etc.
A project for the construction of 13 MLD STP and other works was also approved in Sapera Basti, Dehradun, Uttarakhand costing Rs. 74.38 crores. This project will stop untreated sewage from flowing into River Sushwa.
A big project for the establishment of four Biodiversity Parks in four districts of Uttar Pradesh – Hapur, Bulandshahar, Badaun and Mirzapur – has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 24.97 crores.
All four locations are situated along the Gangetic floodplains. The proposed parks are part of Reserve Forests along Gangetic floodplains and will play a key role in river restoration and conservation of biodiversity.
“The details of the Biodiversity Parks are Mohanpur Biodiversity Park in Mirzapur, Ramghat Biodiversity Park in Bulandshahar, Alamgirpur Biodiversity Park in Hapur and Ujhani Biodiversity Park in Budaun. These sites are rich in floral and faunal diversity and have heterogeneous habitats. On restoration, the biodiversity would further enrich with biomass, flow regime, climate resilience and enhancement in livelihood in the Ganga river basin,” it added.
The Biodiversity Parks will also provide a unique landscape of wilderness with an assemblage of native plant and animal species that form self-sustaining biological communities recreated in a region and serve both in-situ and ex-situ conservation of biodiversity, gene pool, and ecosystem services in a natural and agricultural landscape. The overall outcome of the Ganga Biodiversity Parks would help to sustain ecosystem services, biodiversity and rejuvenation of the river Ganga at a basin scale.
Under the Afforestation component, a project at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.56 crore was approved for the State of Jharkhand.
The interventions seek improved forest cover, enhanced forest diversity and productivity, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land and ecosystem management for better flow of ecosystem services, sustainable livelihood and overall conservation of the Ganga River scape.
This project is part of the Annual Plan of Operation (APO) prepared by the Forest Department of Jharkhand based on the DPR prepared by the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for the creation of an enabling environment for climate resilient and sustainable ecosystem management approach, adopting community participatory approach in forestry interventions and conservation activities in different landscapes and enhancing the capacity of the forest and line department for up-scaling and mainstreaming of best practices developed for Riverscape management.
For River Front Development, a ghat development project in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh was also approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 5.07 crore.
The location of the project is an important pilgrimage site attracting lots of people during festive seasons to take a holy dip in River Gomti, a tributary of River Ganga.
The project includes the construction of a 4m wide walking promenade connecting Hanuman Ghat with Sadbhavna Bridge, ghat steps, landscaping, toilet blocks etc. Another project for the construction of an electric crematorium at Kaliganj, Murshidabad, West Bengal costing Rs. 4.14 crore was also approved.
A project for ‘Pollution Prevention and Effective Waste Management of Panipat Textile Cluster to Optimize the Trade Potential’ has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 18.95 crores in the EC meeting.
The principal objective of the project is to improve the water quality of river Ganga as well as river Yamuna by avoiding the discharge of untreated effluent into river Ganga/river Yamuna by preventing the discharge of effluent from the textile cluster.
The project aims to reduce water consumption (up to 30 per cent) by adopting Best Management practices, reducing wastewater discharge (pollution load) through the demonstration of green technologies and developing of in-house Chemical Management System (reduction in consumption of chemicals by 25 per cent), promote the efficient working of Effluent Treatment Plants, improve the quality of treated effluent.
The project also looks to provide in-depth training and generate internal teams to develop their own systems for quality, environmental aspects, employees’ skill development, conservation of natural resources etc. for continual improvements.
The EC also approved indicative funds of Rs 45 crore for the installation of decentralized wastewater treatment systems in the main stem Ganga basin States.
The fund bifurcation is Rs 10 crore each for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal and Rs. 5 crores to Jharkhand. For decentralized wastewater treatment, the projects can be taken up under any proven technology working in the country like nature-based solutions, Johkasou etc.
Some of the advantages of decentralized wastewater treatment include better monitoring of industrial waste, easier expansion of systems, new treatment centres that can be added without routing ever more flows to the existing centres, lesser investment for the sewer pipelines etc.