The NDA government Monday placed before the Supreme Court a blueprint of measures spanning over 18 years to restore the pristine glory of river Ganga and identified 118 towns on its banks as the first target to achieve total sanitation, including water treatment and solid waste management.
“It is respectfully submitted that in order to ensure rejuvenation of the Ganga, the action plan envisages phase-wise timeline in terms of short term — a period of three years; medium term — a period of next five years; and long term — a period of next 10 years and more,” the affidavit stated.
It said timeline for completion of ongoing projects along the 2,500-km long river has been prepared after consulting five Ganga basin states.
The Centre’s fresh affidavit came weeks after the Supreme Court had expressed its displeasure over the government’s earlier affidavit on a roadmap to clean the river.
“In the first stage, 118 towns have been tentatively identified for necessary interventions to achieve total sanitation targets, including water waste treatment and solid waste management,” it said, adding, “So far seven riverfront locations have been identified by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation for development of ghats at Kedarnath, Hardwar, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi.”
As the medium term goal, it said 118 urban habitations on bank of the river have been tentatively identified by the Ministry of Urban Development for extending coverage of sewerage infrastructure at an estimated cost of Rs 51,000 crore and also to make 1,649 village panchayats located along Ganga free from open defecation.
It said long-term plan would emerge from the Ganga River Basin Management Plan, being prepared by a consortium of seven IITs.