Uttarakhand move to clean up Ganga | india | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand move to clean up Ganga

A massive turnaround awaits 63 towns in Uttarakhand, courtesy a move aimed at equipping them with civic infrastructure so as to stop huge amount of solid and liquid waste from passing into the River Ganga and all its tributaries that take their course from the central Himalayan region.

india Updated: May 09, 2010 17:30 IST
Deep Joshi

A massive turnaround awaits 63 towns in Uttarakhand, courtesy a move aimed at equipping them with civic infrastructure so as to stop huge amount of solid and liquid waste from passing into the River Ganga and all its tributaries that take their course from the central Himalayan region.

``As part of this move that aims at removing pollution from the river Ganga in Uttarakhand, a massive afforestation of its catchments and the catchments of all its tributaries is also being undertaken," said State Water Resource Minister Prakash Pant.

Speaking to Hindustan Times on Saturday he said under the project cleaning of almost all the major rivers originating from Uttarakhand would be taken up. These channels would also include the rivers like the Yamuna and the Kali that ``too are tributaries of the Ganga as these too finally merge in the Ganga'' Pant clarified.

Saying that under the move being taken as part of the centrally sponsored multi-crore National River Ganga Conservation Project India's biggest river system would be made pollution free by 2020 he said under the programme National Ganga River Basin Authority had allotted a fund of Rs 2644/ crore for Uttarakhand.

``The project aims at preventing a vast amount of solid and liquid waste generated in the 63 towns across Uttarakhand from passing into the river Ganga and its tributaries so as to restore these channels to their pristine condition'', Pant said. As part of this move, according to him, various works are likely to be undertaken, which would include laying of sewerage networks, setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants, besides putting in place a system for a speedy and scientific disposal of solid garbage. Other important works to be taken under the project are construction of Sulabh Sauchalayas (public conveniences), strengthening of the riverbanks by taking several measures like afforestation and building of bathing ghats (cement-concrete platforms) etc along the populated river front areas.

``Besides, as part of the project engineering structures would also be put up along the banks of the rivers so as to check soil erosion caused by floods'', Pant noted while clarifying that sensitising the people to the need for cleaning the river Ganga and its tributaries would be an important component of the national project.

Sharing with Hindustan Times the details of the progress achieved so far he said under the first phase of the project all civic works had been completed in Uttarakhand's two major low lying towns namely Haridwar and Rishikesh through which the river Ganga passes before it moves on to the vast Gangetic plains.

``Similar civic and other works aimed at cleaning the Ganga are being carried out in 10 other towns as part of the project's second phase, which would be completed in 2010 itself'', Pant said. He identified these towns as Ranipur (BHEL), Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Karnprayag, Gopeshwar, Joshimath, Badrinath and Uttarkashi. ``Similar civic works would be taken up in rest of the towns as well,''he told Hindustan Times.