NEW DELHI: As part of its ongoing clean Ganga mission, the Centre has approved 20 additional projects, worth nearly Rs 1,900 crore, for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi. Most of the projects are related to setting up new sewage treatment plants (STPs), upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage network in different cities in the river basin.

The approved projects for Delhi include construction of new state-of-the-art 564 million liters per day (MLD) capacity of STP at Okhla at an estimated cost of Rs 665 crore and laying of new sewage pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli to prevent leakages at the cost of Rs 100 crore. The new plant at Okhla will will eventually replace the existing STPs in the area.

These projects were approved by Executive Committee (EC) of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) on March 2. The projects in the national Capital also come under the purview of the NMCG approval as this central body deals with the entire Ganga river basin covering the national river and its tributaries including Yamuna.

Thirteen out of the 20 approved projects are in Uttarakhand. It includes creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar at an estimated cost of approximately Rs 415 crore.

“This approved plan is aimed at treating sewage water generated by not only city’s 1.5 lakh local dwellers, but also by people who visit the holy place for various purposes. All these projects will be fully funded by the central government”, said the Union water resources ministry in a statement while formally announcing the approval of the new projects which are in addition to what the NMCG had approved for Uttarakhand, UP, Jharkhand and Bihar in the past one year.

Other projects approved for Uttarakhand include four pertaining to pollution abatement works for river Alakananda to ensure cleaner flow of the river downstream. “This includes interception and diversion of drains along with creation of new small STPs at four crucial locations – Joshimath, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Kirti Nagar at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 78 crore”, said the ministry.

Apart from these, a major pollution abatement project for Ganga at Rishikesh has also been approved at an estimated cost of over Rs 158 crore. The construction of a new 26 MLD STP at Lakkar Ghat with online monitoring system has been envisaged for the Rishikesh-specific project.

Sewage related works in Karmalichak in Patna, Bihar and Rajmahal in Jharkhand have been given green signal at an estimated cost of over Rs 335 crore. “To address the issue of pollution of Ganga in Varanasi, a city thronged by millions of pilgrims throughout the year, a project under Hybrid-Annuity PPP model worth almost Rs 151 crore has also been given EC approval”, said the ministry.