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6 sewage plants to be set up as first step in Ganga cleaning

Times of India, Delhi, 25th July 2014


Kicking off the process to implement its ambitious clean Ganga mission, the Centre has sanctioned six new sewage treatment plants (STPs) for different cities and towns along the river in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. These STPs, cleared under the national mission for clean Ganga (NMCG), will come up in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh; Beur, Karmalichak and Saidpur (Patna) in Bihar and Budge Budge and Barrackpore in West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs 1058 crore. Thus the environment ministry has set the ball rolling by clearing these six plants\networks which will treat over 113 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage. There are a number of other plans lined up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project, which are to be announced in due course after studying the feasibility reports. "These new plants will add up the capacity to treat sewage in these cities\towns.


The Centre will bear 70% of the cost of these new projects," said the environment minister Prakash Javadekar, explaining how the STPs are important to stop filth from going into the river. Replying to a debate in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the minister rued the poor functioning of the existing STPs in different states due to shortage of electricity and expressed the need to ensure proper functioning of these plants in future. "The (existing) STPs do not operate and hence, the filth goes into the river. Water contamination takes place due to this. It can be stopped only if the STPs run 24X7," Javadekar told the Lok Sabha. Among the newly sanctioned STPs, the Barrackpore plant will have capacity to treat 24 MLD whereas the one at Budge Budge will treat 9.3 MLD of polluted water. Similarly, the plant at Beur and Karmalichak will treat 43 MLD and 37 MLD of sewage, respectively.


Nation-wide, different cities together generate 38,000 MLD of sewage. But, the treatment capacity exists only for about 12,000 MLD of sewage. Magnitude of the problem can be understood from the fact that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has indentified 144 drains that mostly discharge untreated waste to the tune of 6475 MLD into Ganga alone. It will, therefore, be a gigantic task to deal with the problem by setting up STPs alone. Strict anti-pollution norms for industries, setting up toilets in huge number in villages\towns\cities along the river and construction of crematoriums are some of the other plans which will take off under the clean Ganga mission in the next couple of months.