Nitish Kumar launches Ganga water supply scheme

Under first phase of the ₹4,000-crore scheme, two districts of Nalanda and Gaya will be covered

Published - November 27, 2022 11:11 pm IST - Patna

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and others during the inauguration of Ganga Water Supply Scheme, in Rajgir in Nalanda district, on November 27.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and others during the inauguration of Ganga Water Supply Scheme, in Rajgir in Nalanda district, on November 27. | Photo Credit: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday launched the ambitious Gangajal aapurti yojna (availability of Ganga water scheme) to every household at Rajgir in Nalanda district. On the occasion, Mr. Kumar listed his government’s works for development of all religious sites in the State.

In the first phase of the ₹4,000-crore scheme under the government’s Jal, Jivan aur Hariyali mission, two districts of Nalanda and Gaya will be covered for supply of the holy Ganga water “for all purposes”. In the second phase of the project, the Ganga water will be reaching the adjoining Nawada district as well. Under the scheme, about 7.5 lakh households of Nalanda, Gaya and Buddhist town of Bodh Gaya will start getting Ganga water through pipe from November 28. It is said to be the first of its kind project in the country to “store, treat and supply floodwaters of the holy river Ganga the State receives every year during the monsoon season to the districts of Nalanda, Gaya and Nawada”.

Lists development works

“The Ganga water which now has reached your household will not only be used for drinking but also for bathing, cooking and everything. The groundwater level too will be maintained through this. The temples of the district and the newly opened Nalanda International University too will be getting the Ganga water under the scheme”, Mr. Kumar said, launching the project at the convention centre in Rajgir of Nalanda district. Amid chants of Desh ka bhavi pradhan mantri (country’s future Prime Minister) by gathered audience, mostly JD(U) workers, Mr. Kumar said, “our government has worked for development of all religious sites: Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs Buddhists.” He also listed the development works done by his government at Rajgir which, he said, had “historical significance”.

When someone from the audience asked him about the airport at Rajgir, Mr. Kumar, in an oblique reference to the Central government, said, “Dilli wala kahan mana? (the people at Delhi did not comply)”. “But, we’ll construct our own airport of the State government so that people could fly from here to Patna and Gaya, though the (road) distance to Patna for both the places has reduced”.

Under the project, the floodwaters would be stored in the reservoir which would be treated and then supplied to Rajgir. Mr. Kumar said he would be inaugurating the treatment plant at Bodh Gaya on November 28 which would ensure the supply of Ganga water to the water scarce places such as Gaya and Bodh Gaya. “And, next year we’ll provide water to Nawada district as well”, he added. “Irrigation requirements too will be fulfilled as the water level of these districts will improve due to storage of Ganga water in huge capacity”. Under the project, every family with five members will get 135 litres of piped Ganga water every day through the 151-km pipe from Hatidah in Patna district to three enormous reservoirs located at three places.

State Water Resources Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said, “this is the first time in India that floodwater is harvested for the purpose of drinking. It will set an example for flood management”. “The project has got international mention for having met four Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]: good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities and climate action”, added Mr. Jha.

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