Centre to pump in Rs 15,000 cr to make Ganga pollution free

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 along Ganga.

"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.

Bureau Report