Govt admits Ganga plan flawed, yet gives Rs 15,000 cr | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt admits Ganga plan flawed, yet gives Rs 15,000 cr

Twenty-five years on and Rs 2,000 crore later, the ambitious project to clean up the Ganga has not yielded the desired results. The government, however, hasn’t lost its zeal.

delhi Updated: Mar 15, 2010 00:31 IST
Bhadra Sinha

Twenty-five years on and Rs 2,000 crore later, the ambitious project to clean up the Ganga has not yielded the desired results. The government, however, hasn’t lost its zeal.

In its submission before the Supreme Court, the Centre has claimed that it proposes to spend Rs 15,000 crore over the next 10 years to ensure that no untreated sewage or industrial effluent flows into the Ganga.

Additional solicitor general Mohan Jain told the bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that the government was committed to its mission to clean the river.

The government also said it had sought assistance from the World Bank, which has “in principle” agreed to support the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) as its priority project.

The Centre has approved new projects worth Rs 1,400 crores that include setting up of sewage treatment plants and aims at water conservation.

The extension of the Ganga project, earlier known as the Ganga Action Plan, and investment worth crores of rupees is despite the fact that the Centre has failed to control the rising pollution levels in rivers.

During a discussion on the project early this month, the ministry of environment and forests admitted there were shortcomings.

The report submitted before the Supreme Court admits that even after setting up 58 STPs in 73 towns, 2,900 million litres per day (mld) of municipal sewage generated from major towns along the Ganga remain untreated.

Of the total expenditure Rs 900 crore was spent in setting up the STPs that have a treatment capacity of just 1,025 mld. The government has accepted that coliform levels in the river are “unacceptably high”.