- New sewerage systems and STPs have been constructed in Uttarakhand
- A state level management committee has also been formed
- The Prime Minister himself has taken stock of Namami Gange
Namami Gange, the Union Government’s flagship programme to clean up the river Ganga has finally gathered some steam and acceleration, with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself taking over the reins, after a sluggish start.
Namami Gange, the Union Government’s flagship programme to clean up the river Ganga has shown sluggish progress on the whole, but Uttarakhand has achieved considerable success as work has been completed in several regions with regard to interception and diversion (I&D) of waste water and its treatment, and construction of new sewage treatment plants (STPs). The Namami Gange programme plans to build 75 new sewage treatment facilities, along with renovation of 182 ghats and 118 crematoriums across the Ganga in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Uttarakhand has 28 sewage treatment plants and work on the construction of some more was planned during the launch of the Namami Gange programme.
Interception and diversion is a mechanism which works to capture raw sewage flowing into the river through open drains and redirect it towards STPs for treatment. Joshimath and Gopeshwar in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district have successfully implemented the I&D mechanism. Instead of flowing directly into Ganga, wastewater from these two towns will be redirected to STPs for treatment and reuse.
Under the programme, a sewerage scheme at Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh has been successfully completed. Rishikesh was one of the pilgrim towns which contributed to the pollution of Ganga by dumping untreated sewage in the river, as per a report by the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board (UPCB) in 2015. A functioning sewerage scheme in the town will ensure that sewage is no longer dumped indiscriminately in the river. Under Namami Gange, sewerage systems and STPs have also been constructed in Tapovan and Haridwar. A new sewerage scheme has become functional in Ahbab Nagar in Haridwar, and a new STP with sewage treatment capacity of 18 million litres per day has been constructed at Sarai Hardiwar.
The progress in Uttarakhand shows that work under Namami Gange is on track despite a slow start. The formation of local committees will ensure speedier work and monitoring to achieve the final goal of making Ganga pollution free by 2018, said Samir Sinha, Spokesperson, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
Though it took some time for Namami Gange to begin its ambitious journey towards a clean Ganga, it can be hoped that with the Prime Minister’s intervention and formation of state level management committees will finally ensure some acceleration for Namami Gange. The Prime Minister recently attended a review meeting to check the progress of the project. Two state level management committees have also been formed in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to ensure rapid progress of projects under Namami Gange. The completion of some significant work in Uttarakhand will be a good example to follow for other states and kick-start the extensive work needed to achieve the core objectives of the Namami Gange programme.