The ministry of urban development has proposed establishing a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for setting up and maintenance of sewerage treatment plans (STPs) in all the 118 cities and towns located along the River Ganga in a time bound manner to check pollution of the river.
The SPV will ensure that demand-supply gap in respect of sewerage treatment in urban areas will be met in line with timeframe for cleaning the River Ganga, a ministry release said.
This proposal was made at a review meeting on `Namami Ganga' held in Nirman Bhawan on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by minister of urban development M Venkaiah Naidu, minister of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Uma Bharati, minister of drinking water and sanitation Birendra Singh, minister of environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar and minister of tourism and culture Mahesh Sharma and secretaries of the respective ministries.
The ministers discussed action plans for treatment of sewerage with timelines, rehabilitation of dysfunctional and sub-optimal STPs, plans for bridging mismatch between existing treatment capacity and the demand, capacity building of urban local bodies, modernisation of existing crematoria, adoption of innovative technologies developed by BARC and IITs etc.
Against the sewerage treatment requirement of 3,847 million litres per day in all the 118 cities and towns in 2015 and the estimated demand of 4,773 MLD in 2030, the present available capacity is only 879 MLD, while another 1,263 MLD capacity is under construction. The gap in demand and supply is 1,852 MLD at current demand and 2,664 MLD at 2030 demand.
Naidu said that all the six state governments will be consulted and taken on board before going ahead with setting up of STPs as required to treat urban sewerage.
To begin with, 56 cities and towns that account for about 80 per cent of sewerage generation will be focused in the first phase. He said necessary action for setting up SPV will soon be taken and that STP capacity would be augmented to meet the 2030 demand.
The ministers noted that the provisions of existing Environment Protection Act are not adequate to address the issue of industrial effluents being discharged into Ganga River and this needs to be revisited.
As a part of stakeholder consultations, the ministry of environment, forests and climate change will convene a meeting of representatives of all 195 industrial units located alongside Ganga next month, followed by a meeting of municipal commissioners of all the 118 cities and towns on 17 February. State-wise consultations will be held in March 2015.
Wednesday's meeting was held in pursuance of the suggestion of the PMO to work out time bound action plans focusing on primary components of Ganga pollution viz, liquid waste from urban and rural areas and industrial effluent discharge.