In a bid to carry out holistic development of the Ganga river, the government has launched 231 projects under the “Namami Gange” programme at over 100 locations in seven states with an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
The projects will entail modernisation and redevelopment of ghats and crematoriums, development of sewage infrastructure and treatment, afforestation, pilot drain project, interceptor drain project, trash skimmers and conservation of biodiversity across the country.
Presently, river Ganga is mainly grappling with issues such as the daily discharge of over 1500 million litres of raw sewage along with 500 million litres of industrial waste from 700 highly polluting industries and thousands of tonnes of non-biodegradable solid waste.
A total of 103 projects have been initiated across five basin states of the river – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, besides Delhi and Haryana through which Ganga’s tributary Yamuna passes.
According to Cabinet Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharati, untreated waters haven’t done much damage to the river as much as the lack of proper planning. Therefore, the present programme will focus on corrective steps to atone for what has been done over the years to dirty the river.
The Namami Gange programme has been divided into two phases and the first phase is expected to be finished by October 2016. The second phase will take two years to get completed.