The BJP lead government is expecting the clean Ganga mission to be completed by 2020, by which time desired results of initiatives taken up for the purpose will be visible.
In reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union water resources minister Uma Bharti said cleaning of the river Ganga was a massive task. While, the events are taking place the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has teamed up with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to bring out mobile applications for citizens and satellite tracking of the entire river basin. The alliance will bring India’s space capabilities to individual concerned citizens.
“People can take pictures on their mobiles of pollution or littering near rivers and can send them to our server through satellite,” said T V S N Prasad, director, NMCG. “They can download the Bhuvan Ganga app from the ISRO website. This will help us monitor both municipal and industrial waste as well as littering. ISRO will also help us track the flood-prone areas and drains which carry municipal and industrial filth into the Ganga,” he added.
As it exists today, the Bhuvan Ganga app is compatible with Android phones, and will be made available on other smartphones as well shortly, said officials.
NMCG has also identified 11 cities in the Ganga basin whose sewage problem will be focused on at the beginning. These cities include Rishikesh, Haridwar, Allahabad, Navadweep, Kolkata, Varanasi, Kanpur, Mathura, Vrindavan and Garhmukteshwar.
The sewage generated in Uttarakhand is 252 million litres per day (MLD), while it has the capacity to treat only 92 MLD. Treatment plants under construction have a total capacity of 121 MLD. So there is gap of 130 MLD. The total gap in the five states of Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal comes to nearly 3,987 MLD.
“Inflow and outflow of the Sewage treatment plants (SWTs) will be monitored by the Pollution Control Board and our units in these 11 cities and the data with regard to it will be put in the public domain,” said Prasad. He pointed out that for the first time the government was focusing on river surface cleaning and ghat development in the 11 identified cities. “Tenders will be floated for solid waste management, ghat and sewage cleaning shortly,” he added.
The National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGBRA) was launched in 2009 with the renewed vision of cleaning river Ganga using a basin wide approach.