Execution of various projects to ensure sanitation and water supply in Varanasi will be speeded up with all the stakeholder agencies taking necessary actions in a time bound manner. This was agreed upon at a two hour long review meeting taken by Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) here.
Construction of household and community and Public toilets, solid waste management, operationalization of a waste processing plant at Karsada, management of waste dump at Ramna, cleaning of ghats, installation of LED lights, land acquisition for a Water Treatment Plant, execution of HRIDAY works, implementation under Kyoto-Varanasi Collaboration Agreement, JICA assisted works etc were discussed and reviewed in detail.
Regarding construction of toilets, Municipal Commissioner of Varanasi has informed that as against the need for construction of 3,500 household toilets in the city, work has just begun on 779 toiles with the State Government agreeing to ts share of assistance to the beneficiaries and 46 community and public toilet seats have so far been constructed as against the need for 205. The officials assured that construction on remaining toilets will be commenced soon.
Shri S.P.Singh, Pricipal Secretary(UD) of Uttar Pradesh has assured that Varanasi Municipal Commissioner will intensify efforts to mobilize funds under Corporate Social Responsibility for construction of public toilets in the city.
Shri Rajiv Gauba impressed upon the State Government officials for speedy and concerted efforts to make Varanasi ‘Open Defecation Free’ at the earliest.
Regarding Solid Waste Management, the state government officials said that IL&FS, which has been entrusted with door-to-door collection and transportation of municipal solid waste in 14 core area would be asked to consider doing the same for the remaining 74 wards in the city. Financing of solid waste collection and transportation in these 74 wards will be considered under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
It was also decided that IL&FS would be asked to examine issues relating to the management of huge waste dump at Ramna including the presence of combustible waste before capping of this dump is considered to avoid possible fires. It was felt necessary to ensure presence of only inert material in the dump. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has agreed to operationalize waste processing plant at Karsada in a month’s time.
Regarding setting up of a Water Treatment Plant at Baraipur for bringing more Ganga water to the city and a pending court case, it was stated that the Court has been informed that land proposed to be acquired is not on patta land and necessary further action in this regard would be taken.
Varanasi Municipal Corporation will come out with an Action Plan for ensuring 24 X 7 cleaning of ghats in ten days time.
Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary(UD) suggested that a revenue sharing model be evolved by the company EESL to meet the infrastructure cost of Rs.38 cr for installing LED lights along all streets and ghats in Varanasi.
A Committee will be set up under Divisional Commissioner of Varnasi to enable speedy execution of 24 road projects under Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) to be implemented by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).
Regarding operationalization of Kyoto-Varanasi Collaboration Agreement, it was agreed that JICA will soon complete survey works for Rs.760 cr sewerage network projects in Cis-Varuna areas of the city and Rs.100 cr Sewerage and STP project in Ramnagar so that they could be launched before India-Japan Cooperation Review due next year.
JICA also agreed to quickly take a final view on financing the proposed Rs.74 cr Convention Centre project.
State Government officials have further informed that necessary approval has been accorded for JICA’s technical cooperation in the areas of solid waste management, sewerage and liquid waste management and water supply (Non-revenue water )projects in Varanasi.
Shri Rajiv Gauba also reviewed progress in respect of Kanpur Metro Project. The State Government was asked to quickly respond to the issues raised by the Ministry of Urban Development regarding a Comprehensive Mobility Plan for the city and some complaints received regarding the alignment of the project.
Varanasi Mayor Shri Ram Gopal Mohiley, Shri Pravin Prakash and Shri B.Anand, Joint Secretaries in the Ministry of Urban Development , Shri S.P.Singh, Principal Secretary(Urban Development, Govt of UP), Divisional Commissioner of Varanasi, Vice-Chairman of Varanasi Development Authority, Municipal Commissioner of Varnasi and other concerned senior officials of UP Government besides members of the Steering Committee on Kyoto-Varanasi Collaboration Agreement, representatives of JICA and Benares Hindu University attended the meeting.