In the run-up to the upcoming Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in its 13th Executive Committee meeting, approved two projects for community toilets and procurement of dustbins at an estimated cost of Rs. 113 crore and Rs. 3.6 crore respectively. More than 12 crore people are expected to attend the Mela and NMCG is committed to ensuring that pollutants are not dumped into river Ganga .
The first project includes setting up of 27,500 community FRP toilets (with septic tank) and pre-fabricated toilets (with septic tanks). Besides this, 20,000 community FRP urinals will also be set up during the Kumbh Mela.
Another project for deployment of 16000 dustbins for solid waste management in the mela area, along with installation of lining bags in dustbins has been approved during the 13th EC meeting. The projects have been approved keeping in mind the enormous gathering that will take place on the banks of river Ganga for a period of 60-90 days with close to 10 lakh pilgrims stationed in the camps.
Sewage Infrastructure for Moradabad
One project for the construction of a 25 MLD STP, among other works, in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 118.69 crore under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode. The other components of the project are developing Interception & Diversion (I&D) structures for 5 drains, I&D network laying, Sewage Pumping Stations including Operation and Maintenance for 15 years etc. Moradabad is situated on the banks of Ram Ganga, a tributary of River Ganga. Moradabad is an important industrial city, mainly famous for manufacturing of brassware. People from all over the world come to the city for business purposes. Most of the population of the city depends upon cottage industry related with brassware. The project approved under Namami Gange programme is important as the Moradabad city has an old underground sewer network of a total length of 44 km, which does not cover the entire city. Only 6% of the households in the city are connected to the sewer lines which, too, have completed their term of usability and are not in a good condition. This project has been approved to take care of the existing sewerage problems in the town and take care of the resultant sewage pollution in the Ram Ganga.
After the success of the ghat cleaning project in Varanasi, two more ghat cleaning projects in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand at an estimated cost of Rs. 14.26 crore and Rs. 15.90 crore respectively were approved in the 13th EC meeting of NMCG. The Uttar Pradesh project is for four towns– Bithoor, Kanpur, Allahabad and Mathura-Vrindavan.
In Uttar Pradesh, the project includes cleaning of 94 ghats in four towns (Bithoor-19; Kanpur – 27;Allahabad – 21; Mathura – Vrindavan – 27) for a period of 3 years. Besides, the project also includes providing of dustbins in sufficient numbers to ensure cleanliness of the ghats. These towns are major towns along river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh from thereligious and visitor footfall perspective.
In Uttarakhand, the project includes cleaning of 72 ghats (18 major Ghats and 54 other Ghats) of Haridwar through manual and mechanized equipments such as scrubber, jetting machines, dustbin, mobile vans etc. for a period of 3 years. Haridwar is an ancient city and municipality in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand with a population of 2,31,338. In addition, the city has an average of 1.6 lakh floating population which makes it an important city for the Namami Gange programme.
Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
A project for the promotion of cultivation of medicinal plants indigenous to the Ganga Basin,along the River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 35.46 crore for two years. The project that spans 8 districts and 40 blocks of Uttar Pradesh envisages covering an area of 2,500 hectare. The number of farmers expected to be benefited from the project is about 7,800. So far, 8 species of medicinal plants have been identified which will be planted during the project. These are Vach, Kalmegh, Shatavari, Tulsi, Arjuna, Khas-Khas grass, Bel and Sarpgandha. The expected outcomes of the project are improved soil health, reduction in water pollution, livelihood and increase in farmers income through diversification for high value medicinal plants.
Training of the Ganga Mitras
In an attempt to develop a self-sufficient cadre for the Clean Ganga Mission at the grass roots level, one pilot project for training of the Ganga Mitras entitled “Eco-Skills and Capacity Building Training Programme for Ganga Mitras (Task Force at Grass Root Level) has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 63.07 lakh. Once trained, the main task of Ganga Mitras will be to promote eco-tourism, spread public awareness among school children in particular and local people in general, develop green belts in their localities etc. The Ganga Mitras will be trained in specialized water testing, sources of pollution and adverse impact of pollution onHealth etc.The nomenclature of the Ganga Mitras is also used by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who has trained some local people. The development of Ganga Mitras by NMCG will be an addition to the WWF efforts.