Govt gives SC phased plans to clean Ganga

Govt gives SC phased plans to clean Ganga

The Narendra Modi government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has identified 118 urban habitations on the banks of the river Ganga for extending the sewerage infrastructure at an estimated cost of Rs 51,000 crore.

The government indicated this while providing the apex court with its phase-wise plans to clean the river.

In an affidavit, the Centre said that as per its medium term plan, the ministry of drinking water and sanitation had identified 1649 gram panchayats wherein to end open defecation. The Environment Ministry would also work to ensure zero liquid discharge from the most polluting units in the river basin states.

The affidavit filed by Joint Secretary, GOI and mission director, National Mission for Clean Ganga, submitted three-year, five-year and 10-year plans for the implementation of different projects, including 100 per cent sewerage infrastructure, conservation of aquatic life, safe disposal of puja materials and sand mining which would require the involvement of the five river basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. 

The apex court on September 3 asked the Union Government to prepare achievable targets to complete its “ultimate dream project” of cleaning river Ganga, while raising questions marks over the efforts taken so far. 

In its response, the government said: “The success of the plan for Ganga rejuvenation shall, however, require  active participation and cooperation of different stakeholders, including people residing on the river bank, citizens of the country, NRIs as well as global community.”

“The task of Ganga rejuvenation being multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional is very complex and dynamic in nature. Resultantly, any plan made for it may need mid-course correction depending on the changing need and circumstances which may not be foreseeable now,” it added.

As for the long term vision for rejuvenation of the river, it would emerge from the Ganga River Basin Management Plan being prepared by a consortium of seven IITs, the government said. 

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