INVC,,

Delhi,,

The Government has been implementing the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) since 1985 for pollution abatement in the identified polluted stretches of the river Ganga. Under the Ganga Action Plan, Phase-I &II, an expenditure of Rs.837 crore has been incurred so far. The pollution abatement works taken up include interception and diversion of sewage for treatment in sewage treatment plants; low cost sanitation works; river front development works etc. Sewage treatment capacity of 1025 million litres per day has been created under both the phases.

Implementation of pollution abatement works helps in ameliorating the water quality in rivers. Water quality monitoring carried out by reputed institutions such as, IIT, Kanpur, BHEL, Patna University, etc. indicates that, water quality of the river Ganga conforms to the prescribed standards in terms of key indicators, namely, Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Dissolved Oxygen (DO) at most of the locations, except in the stretch between Kannauj and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. However, the levels of fecal coliforms are reported to be exceeding the maximum permissible limit at a number of monitoring stations along the river Ganga. The coliform count has increased particularly at pilgrimage places due to mass bathing by pilgrims. The situation would have been worse without the sewage treatment infrastructure created under GAP.

The Central Government has set up the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) on 20.02.2009 under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, as an empowered planning, financial, monitoring and coordinating authority to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga by adopting a holistic approach with the river basin as the unit of planning. The first meeting of the NGRBA held on 5.10.2009 resolved that by the year 2020, it will be ensured that no untreated municipal sewage or industrial effluent flows into Ganga. Currently, sewage treatment capacity of 1025 million litres per day (mld) is available against about 3000 mld being generated in the towns along Ganga. The investments required over the next 10 years for creation of necessary treatment and sewerage infrastructure are to be shared suitably between Centre and States.

Huge Quantum of Untreated Sewage Discharge in Ganga
Huge Quantum of Untreated Sewage Discharge in Ganga

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