Uma Bharti
Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti addressing the National Conference on "Preserving Rivers in India," in New Delhi on 25 June, 2014. (A file photo)PIB

The Union government and Uttar Pradesh government have reportedly jointly released ₹1,229.87 crore so far for conservation of river Ganga since 1985.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government has now vowed to cleanse the river and develop it further for water transportation.

The Centre alone is said to have spent a total of ₹986.34 crore so far on Ganga cleansing since 1985, when Phase-I of Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was launched.

Union Minister of State for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that GAP's Phase-I was launched as a centrally funded scheme in 1985 and later GAP Phase-II was initiated in 1993 with the objective of improving the water quality of the river.

Under both phases of GAP, a total of 83 sewage treatment plants (STPs), including 2 common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) have been sanctioned for treating pollutants in the river.

Of the 83 STPs, 69 treatment plants, with a capacity to treat 1,098 million litres per day (mld) - GAP-I: 869 mld, GAP-II: 229 mld, have been established, the Minister said.

In 2009, 'National Ganga River Basin Authority' (NGRBA) was setup for pollution control in river Ganga, Gangwar added.

The works under NGRBA Programme include laying of sewerage system, sewage treatment plants, solid waste management, Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for controlling industrial pollution, river front management, crematoria and many more.

So far, 70 schemes in 48 towns in five Ganga States and six institutional development projects including Automatic Water Quality Monitoring and Ganga Knowledge Center have been sanctioned at a total cost of ₹5,004.19 crore under the programme.

₹1,229.87 crore has been released from the Centre and Uttar Pradesh State government, of which Central Government's share is ₹912.52 crore and State government's share is ₹317.35 crore. An expenditure of ₹838.76 crore has been reported till March 2014 for implementation of the projects.

Under both, GAP Phase-I and Phase - II (on main stem and under Hon'ble Supreme Court's directions) and NGRBA, an expenditure of ₹1,825.10 crore has been incurred by five basin States on the main stem of river Ganga.

A total treatment capacity of 1,208.50 mld (ST – 1,188.50 mld, CETP – 20 mld) has been created under GAP and NGRBA till June 2014.