New Delhi: After investing almost Rs 960
crore in the past 22 years, the Centre has now decided to
spend an additional Rs 15,000 crore to make the Ganga river
pollution free within the next ten years.
"No untreated industrial effluent and municipal sewage
will be allowed to flow in the river after 2020," Union
Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters here after the first
meeting of the newly formed National Ganga River Basin
Authority which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He pointed out that currently there is a sewage
treatment capacity of only about 1000 mld (million litres per
day) against 3000 mld sewage being generated in the towns
"An estimated investment of Rs 15,000 crores over next
ten years will be required to create the necessary treatment
and sewerage infrastructure," Ramesh said.
Assuring that social audit will be conducted to
monitor the investment, the Minister said that instead of a
town based approach adopted under the previous programmes, the
NRGBA will focus on development of river basin.
"As suggested by Bihar Chief Minister we will
concentrate on treatment of catchment area as well on river
front development for effective results," he said.
Ramesh said the members of the National Ganga River
Basin Authority also agreed that "resources will be provided
by the Centre and states over a ten-year period. This would be
shared suitably between both of them."
However, Ramesh added, the percentage sharing will be
worked out after consulting the Planning Commission.