Sewage flows into the Ganga in Patna. File Photo: Ranjeet Kumar
The Centre has proposed the setting up and maintenance of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in all the 118 cities and towns located along the Ganga in a time-bound manner to check pollution of the river.
To be built and maintained through a special purpose vehicle, these STPs will be paid for by the Centre and help plug the gaps in the system and prevent untreated effluents from flowing into the Ganga.
The proposal was mooted at a review meeting on Namami Ganga on Wednesday. Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said all the six States (along the Ganga) would be consulted and taken on board before going ahead with setting up of the STPs.
In the first phase, the focus will be on the 56 cities and towns that account for about 80 per cent of sewage generation. He said the STP capacity would be augmented to meet the 2030 demand.
Also discussed were action plans for treatment of sewage with timelines, rehabilitation of dysfunctional and sub-optimal STPs, plans for bridging mismatch between existing treatment capacity and the demand, capacity building of urban local bodies, modernisation of existing crematoria, and adoption of innovative technologies developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
According to the government, as against the sewage treatment requirement of 3,847 million litres a day (MLD) in all the 118 cities and towns in 2015 and the estimated demand of 4,773 MLD in 2030, the present available capacity is only 879 MLD while another 1,263 MLD capacity is under construction. The gap in demand and supply is 1,852 MLD at current demand and 2,664 MLD at 2030 demand.
As a part of stakeholder consultations, a meeting of representatives of all 195 industrial units located alongside the Ganga will be held next month by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change followed by a meeting of municipal commissioners of all the 118 cities and towns on February 17.