New Delhi: Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari urged the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to expedite solid waste management projects in 97 towns along the Ganges, according to an official statement. The towns identified for the projects are spread over five states: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
In a meeting with Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Mr Gadkari said ways should be explored for re-using the waste material generated in these towns – for example using plastic waste for road construction or making compost and fertilizers.
Construction and detailed project report making should be fast-tracked, he said. Mr Gadkari also asked the MoHUA to ensure proper arrangements for tapping of solid waste entering into the river through drains, disposal of the collected waste from ghats and river banks, and door-to-door waste collection.
During the meeting, emphasis was given on the need for similar interventions in important towns along Yamuna, Kali, Ramganga and Hindon rivers.
Mr Puri said his ministry has asked the chief secretaries of the Ganga-basin states to achieve 100 per cent solid waste management by December and remove waste dumps within 1 km of the Ganges.
Solid waste management is a key component of the Namami Gange programme. It is a state subject and the primary responsibility of state governments, urban local bodies. At the central level, this activity falls under the MoHUA.
The Namami Gange programme, tasked to rejuvenate the Ganges and its tributaries, stipulates that sewage treatment plants will be funded by the National Mission for Clean Ganga, and other works will be undertaken by ministries as per their mandates.
MoHUA is undertaking solid waste management projects in the 97 towns under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
According to Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry, the overall solid waste generation in these 97 towns is 11,428 tonnes per day (TPD). Of this, West Bengal generates 6001 TPD, highest among the five main stem Ganga basin states, followed by Uttar Pradesh, where 3,282 TPD solid waste is generated per day.
Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand generate 1,771 TPD, 347 TPD and 27 TPD solid waste respectively.