Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said Rs 3,000 crore would be spent for setting up sewage treatment plants in 19 Bihar towns in the next five to six years under National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).

Patna would have the biggest plant for which about Rs 1,500 crore would be spent, Mr. Ramesh told reporters after he along with World Bank Chairman Robert B Zollieck undertook a boat ride on the Ganga to see the Dolphin Conservation Project.

Besides, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 450 crore for four towns in Bihar for work under NGRBA and most of the amount would be earmarked for setting up the sewage treatment plants, he said, adding he had a detailed discussion with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the implementation of its Mission Clean Ganga.

“The Centre has sought World Bank’s support for 19 other States for having sewage treatment plants,” he said.

NGRBA has launched the Mission Clean Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, West Bengal and Bihar which would ensure development of areas on the riverbank and set up sewage treatment plants.

Mr. Ramesh said Bihar government had submitted a project of Rs 150 crore for the development of the Ganga river front in Patna three weeks ago and the Centre had raised certain queries.

Initially, the river front in a stretch of five to six km would be developed and he had held talks with Mr. Kumar on it.

Referring to the boating project, he said Mr. Kumar had raised the issue during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Shipping Ministry was actively considering the project.

Efforts are on to preserve the endangered Ganga river dolphins, which are threatened by pollution. NGRBA with aid from World Bank would implement the action plan under Prof R K Sinha of Patna University to protect the dolphins, he added.