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Uttar Pradesh

"UN ranked it among top 10 projects": Experts laud Namami Gange initiative

May 31, 2024 10:23 AM

Varanasi : Experts have lauded the initiatives under the Namami Gange programme aimed at rejuvenating the Ganga River in Varanasi.


The programme has made significant strides in connecting people with the river and improving water quality through various measures.

 

Dr. Vinod Tare, a former Professor at IIT Kanpur, highlighted the impact of the Namami Gange programme on public engagement and infrastructure.


"The biggest thing that Namami Gange has impacted is connecting people with the river. Ghats have been redevelope

d at several locations and there is improvement. Until and unless people get connected to the river, it is one major impact. And of course, wastewater treatment. A huge emphasis has been given on that as best possible. If you ask me particularly about Varanasi, almost all the sewage that is generated has been tapped, diverted, and treated. I would rate it a 7-8 out of 10," he remarked.


Dr Tare further elaborated on the progress in Varanasi, emphasizing the ongoing nature of the project. "No one can be given a ten rating because it is such a thing that can't be reached to perfection. It is a gradual process and will continue."


Refuting reports of no substantial progress, Dr Tare stated, "If we take the example of Varanasi, general waste like solid waste, the ghats were not maintained earlier, and the activities on them, since they have been stopped, that's obvious that it is having a great impact. The sewage is being treated and used for other purposes after treatment. It is not right to say that it has worsened after 2014. It seems like a fabricated story. No reports indicate so. If you take samples from drainage, it will obviously show contamination. But have you taken samples of Ganga's mainstream waters?"

 


Dr Nupur Bahadur, Associate Director at TERI, stressed the importance of continuity in river cleaning programs.
"A river cleaning programme cannot be limited to ten years; it has to be a continuous process. And in the past ten years, we do have results. We can very well see that the river is very clean, and the most polluted stretches are much improved.


The ghats are clean. So many innovative approaches have been taken in this programme. Overall, it has been a greater success in all the programmes so far. The testament for this is the award bestowed by the UN, and it has been in the top 10. The UN has acknowledged the efforts. So what more can we expect?," Dr Bahadur said.


To improve the water quality of the Ganga and its tributaries in the state, the programme has laid emphasis on various constructions including sewerage infrastructure. "The restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem in the river has led to a commendable increase in the number of various species including Gangetic dolphins, otters and turtles," Dr Tare highlighted.


According to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), under the Namami Gange Mission, 17 projects are in various stages in Varanasi at a total cost of Rs 1469 crore. To make the Ganga stream clean and uninterrupted, effective plans related to sewerage are being worked on in Varanasi. In these projects, there are Dinapur STP (Sewage treatment plant) of 140 MLD capacity, Ramna STP of 50 MLD capacity, Ramnagar STP of 10 MLD, Dinapur Old STP of 80 MLD and Bhagwanpur STP of 9.8 MLD capacity have been constructed.

 

While considering the need of the time, approval has been given for the construction of a new STP of 55 MLD in Bhagwanpur. Till then, Advanced Oxidation Process STP of 30 MLD capacity is being used in Nagwa to purify the wastewater coming out from there.


The Central Pollution Control Board has admitted in its report that after these development works, there is a continuous improvement in the level of Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Fecal Coliform.

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