The 42nd meeting of the Executive Committee of National Mission for Clean Ganga was organised on 19th May 2022 under the chairmanship of Shri G. Asok Kumar, DG, NMCG. The committee approved 11 projects during the meeting with an estimated cost of around Rs. 660 crores. Among the project which were approved are ‘Interception, Diversion and Treatment Works for Saharanpur Town’ for River Hindon, ‘Rejuvenation of Chamunda Mai Pond’ in Garh Mukhteshwar, ‘Environmental Upgradation of Shivna River’ in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, ‘Evaluation of Natural Farming Practices on Water and Energy Savings’, and ‘Implementation of Membrane-based soil-less agriculture’. Two projects pertaining to crematoriums including ‘Construction of Electric Crematorium’ at Kalyani, West Bengal and ‘Development of Cremation Ghat’ at Paudi Garhwal were also approved. In addition to this, two projects of River Front Development in Badrinath were also given a go ahead. Two big projects for Septage Management in Uttarakhand and West Bengal were also approved in the meeting.
A big project of sewerage management for cleaning of River Hindon in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh was approved. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 577.23 crore that includes construction of 135 MLD STP, creation of interception and diversion structures and laying of sewer line etc. was approved during the EC meeting. Cleaning of Ganga’s tributaries has been the prime focus of Namami Gange Programme.
The 42nd meeting of the Executive Committee was attended by senior officers of NMCG including Executive Director (Admin), Shri S.P. Vashishtha, Deputy Director General, NMCG, Shri Bhaskar Dasgupta, Executive Director (Finance), Shri S.R. Meena and JS&FA, DoWR, RD & GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Smt. Richa Misra.
Recognizing the need of Faecal Sludge and Septage Management for effective de-centralized wastewater treatment, NMCG approved two projects of Septage Management in the meeting. While one project ‘Co-treatment of Septage at existing STPs of Haridwar (150 KLD), Rishikesh (50 KLD), Srinagar (30 KLD) and Dev Prayag (5 KLD)’ covers the State of Uttarakhand, another project ‘Integrated Septage Treatment Plant for Burdwan Municipality’ focuses on prevention of flow of sewage in River Banka, a tributary of Ganga in West Bengal. The estimated costs of these projects are Rs. 8.6 crore and Rs. 6.46 crore respectively including operation and maintenance of the Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) for 5 years. The principal objective of these project is to further improve the water quality of river Ganga by avoiding the discharge of untreated Septage from un-sewered areas.
The major component of the ‘Environmental Upgradation of Shivna River’ in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh costing Rs. 28.68 crore include prevention of pollution from point and non-point source, construction of ghat, development of crematorium and idol immersion facility. The project envisages abatement of pollution in the river and improve the environmental conditions of Shivna River.
The project on ‘Rejuvenation of Chamunda Mai Pond’ at an estimated cost of Rs. 81.76 lakh includes cleaning, de-silting, dewatering, basic constructed wetland system, water treatment, aeration system, plantation, fencing, barbed wire etc. will help in recharging groundwater and act as a source of water for local population. It will also improve the overall aesthetics and hygiene of the village. The total area of the pond to be rejuvenated is about 10,626 sq. m.
The two projects of Riverfront Development in Badrinath, Uttarakhand amounting to Rs. 32.15 crore have also been approved under Clean Ganga Fund. One of these projects include construction of river embankment, promenade, public amenities like drinking water facility, public toilets, etc., seating space, pavilions and ghats along River Ganga. Two projects pertaining to crematoriums including ‘Construction of Electric Crematorium’ at Kalyani, West Bengal (4.20 crore) and ‘Development of Cremation Ghat’ at Paudi Garhwal (1.82 crore) were also approved.
An important project on ‘Evaluation of Natural Farming Practices on Water and Energy Savings’ has also been approved. The main objectives of the project, to be implemented by Water and Land Management Training and Research Institute (WALAMTARI), are to study the impact of natural farming practices on water and energy savings, to assess the impact of natural farming practices on soil fertility, crop productivity and overall profitability and to disseminate the knowledge & information on natural farming practices to various stakeholders through field demonstration customized training and workshops.
Namami Ganga Mission aims to make agriculture practices natural and organic along the Ganga river, improve the farmers’ income, and also conserve river-linked ecology, soil, water, and biodiversity. In the 1st National Ganga Council (NGC) meeting held in December 2019, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had directed that Namami Gange should lead and transform into a Model for Sustainable Economic Development- “Arth Ganga” to integrate people in the basin with Ganga rejuvenation. The proposed study will also help in preparing an economic model based on natural farming, more beneficial for farmers thereby helping the ‘Arth Ganga’ strengthen.
A pilot project – ‘Implementation of Membrane-based soil-less agriculture technology under Arth Ganga Framework – will also be executed in two-phases. The project is targeted to enable 1000 acres of farming using this framework and envisages technology demonstration farms at 15 locations across 15 different agro-climatic zones and identification of 60 additional sites to showcase the technology at a total 75 locations to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.