National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has cleared 14 projects pertaining to sewerage management, industrial pollution abatement, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, river front development and decentralised wastewater treatment were approved at a total estimated cost of approximately ₹1145 crores.
In its 45th meeting of the Executive Committee under the chairmanship of G. Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG, the projects cleared 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 tapping of Assi drain in Varanasi by constructing a 55 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and other works costing ₹308.09 crore. 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 ₹. 77.70 crore, construction of 12 MLD STP, laying of interception and diversion (I&D) network etc. in Kosi Kalan town in Mathura district costing ₹66.59 crore and 6 MLD STP, laying of I&D network etc. in Chhata town in Mathura district. The above projects in Mathura-Vrindavan envisage to intercept and divert 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 Operation and Maintenance of the assets for 15 years.
One project each of sewerage management has also been approved for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand including construction of 2 STPs (17 MLD and 23 MLD) including necessary ancillary infrastructures, SCADA and online monitoring system etc. in Ramgarh town, Jharkhand costing ₹284.80 crore, construction of 50 MLD STP, renovation of existing structures etc. in Keorapukur, West Bengal costing ₹67.06 crore. 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 construction of 13 MLD STP and other works was also approved in Sapera Basti, Dehradun, Uttarakhand costing Rs. 74.38 crore. This project will stop the untreated sewage from flowing into River Sushwa.
A big project for 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 ₹24.97 crore. All four locations are situated along the Gangetic floodplains. The proposed parks are part of Reserve Forests along Gangetic floodplains and will play 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 has heterogeneous habitat. On restoration, the biodiversity would further enrich with biomass, flow regime, climate resilience and enhancement in livelihood in Ganga river basin. The Biodiversity Parks will also provide unique landscape of wilderness with 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 natural and agricultural landscape. The overall outcome of the Ganga Biodiversity Parks would help to sustain ecosystem services, biodiversity and rejuvenation of river Ganga at basin scale.
Under the afforestation component, a project at an estimated cost of ₹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 Ganga riverscape. This project is part of the Annual Plan of Operation (APO) prepared by Forest Department of Jharkhand based on the DPR prepared by Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for 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 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 Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh was also approved at an estimated cost of ₹ 5.07 crore. The location of the project is an important pilgrimage site attracting lots of people during festive seasons to taking a holy dip in River Gomti, a tributary of River Ganga. The project includes construction of 4m wide walking promenade connecting Hanuman Ghat with Sadbhavna Bridge, ghat steps, landscaping, toilet blocks etc. Another project for the construction of electric crematorium at Kaliganj, Murshidabad, West Bengal costing ₹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 ₹18.95 crore in the EC meeting. The principal objective of the project is to improve the water quality of river Ganga as well as Yamuna by avoiding the discharge of untreated effluent into the rivers from the textile cluster. The project aims to reduce water consumption (up to 30%) by adoption of Best Management Practice, reduce wastewater discharge (pollution load) through demonstration of green technologies and development of in-house Chemical Management System (reduction in consumption of chemicals by 25 %), promote efficient working of Effluent Treatment Plants, improve the quality of treated effluent. The project also looks to provide in-depth training & generate internal teams to develop own systems for quality, environmental aspects, employees’ skill development, conservation of natural resources etc. for continual improvements.
The EC also approved indicative funds of ₹45 crore for the installation of decentralized wastewater treatment systems in 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 centers can be added without routing ever more flows to existing center, lesser investment for the sewer pipelines etc.