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Ganga Pollution In Varanasi To Be Tackled By Two Sewage Treatment Plants

Ganga Pollution In Varanasi To Be Tackled By Two Sewage Treatment Plants

New Delhi : All who have been enjoying cleaner ghats at Varanasi would also soon bask in the pollution-free waters of the Ganges flowing by the spiritual city. Under Namami Gange programme, an all-encompassing approach has been employed to arrest pollution flowing into the river and ensure clean ghats. From sewage treatment plants to ghat improvement to river surface cleaning, several steps in a time-bound manner are being taken in Varanasi by National Mission for Clean Ganga to rid the city of river pollution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi will soon get two sewage treatment plants, STPs as part of the government's bid to curb Ganga water pollution. 

In a statement, Water resource Ministry has said, the treatment plants, having a total 260 million litres daily (MLD) capacity will be commissioned at Varanasi's Dinapur and Goitha before March next year. 

On the sewage management front, Varanasi town currently generates an estimated 300 MLD of sewage, which is expected to increase to 390 MLD by 2030. From the current capacity of three existing sewage treatment plants – Dinapur, Bhagwanpur and DLW, only 102 MLD of sewage is being treated while the remaining flows directly into river Ganga through Varuna and Assi rivers. To bridge this gap, a 140 MLD STP at Dinapur and a 120 MLD STP at Goitha are being constructed under Japan International co-operation Agency (JICA) assisted project and JNNURM scheme respectively. These projects are at advanced stage of construction and will be commissioned before March 2018. Apart from this, a 50 MLD STP at Ramana has also been awarded under Hybrid Annuity based PPP model to exclusively address the sewage treatment requirements of Assi BHU area. Concession agreement for this project has already been signed. Together, these STPs will create sewage treatment capacity of 412 MLD, adequate to meet the sewage treatment demands of the town till 2035.

The government had recently awarded contract for constructing 50 MLD capacity sewage treatment plants at Ramana in Varanasi. 

The Ministry said, these treatment plant will together create a total sewage treatment capacity of 412 MLD. It also said, to address the concerns of floating waste on the river, a trash skimmer is operational in Varanasi since April 2017 under river surface cleaning component. A cleaner Ganga would be incomplete without equally cleaner surroundings. Acknowledging this, the Government of India last year initiated cleaning works at 84 iconic and heritage ghats of Varanasi under Namami Gange programme which has shown positive results.

The Ministry said, the pollution from cloth washing activities on ghats, four dhobi ghats - Pandeypur, Nadesar, Bhavania Pokhran and Konia have already been renovated. 

The construction of three others at Bazardiha, Machodari slaughter house and Bhawania Pokhri is underway. 

It said, several members of the dhobi community have shifted to the new ghats, with many more being pursued for the same.

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