With a view to controlling sand mining and discharge of untreated water in the river Ganga and its tributaries, the Central government is planning to constitute state and district level bodies to ensure the ecology of the river is not damaged. These bodies will be delegated powers to prosecute the sand mining and polluting industries on their own besides implementing the directions taken by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
“The district level bodies will be empowered to act on the complaints besides enforcing the decisions taken by NMCG and National Ganga Council (NGC),” said U P Singh, Director General of NMCG, who is also the chairperson of NGC.
As per section 5 of NMCG Act, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Linking and Gang Rejuvenation can order closure of polluting industries, cancellation of license of sand miners and impose complete ban on sand mining in the area to ensure ecological health of Ganga and its tributaries.
He further informed that 11 state Ganga councils will be constituted to work in coordination with state pollution control boards. Similarly, district Ganga councils will coordinate with district administration in districts along the river Ganga.
“We have prepared assessment and feasibility report on discharge of untreated water in the Ganga from 118 cities situated on its bank. Each city will be provided sewage treatment plant (STPs) and STPs will be upgraded to improve quality of discharged water,” informed Singh. The new STPs are being constructed on Hybrid BOT (Built, Operate, and Transfer) Model under the concessionaire will be paid 40 percent of the cost on commissioning of the project while remaining 60 percent will be reimbursed in 15 years.
“The quality of STPs was very poor and concessionaires had no responsibility. As per Hybrid BOT system, they will be responsible for operation and maintenance of the project for 15 years,” he added.