Two-third of allotted funds for Ganga clean up released

U.P. got ₹3,535 crore of the ₹10,972 crore given by Finance Ministry to the NMCG

Updated - July 27, 2021 12:59 pm IST

Published - July 26, 2021 09:20 pm IST - NEW DELHI

National Mission for Clean Ganga workers spray bioremediation solution in river Ganga, at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi on June 13, 2021.

National Mission for Clean Ganga workers spray bioremediation solution in river Ganga, at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi on June 13, 2021.

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), that was conceived as a ₹20,000 crore programme in 2014 to clean up the river has so far been allocated ₹15,074 crore. Of this only ₹10,972 crore, or about two-thirds, has been released by the Finance Ministry to the NMCG, a body under the Jal Shakti Ministry, according to a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The NMCG further allocates the money to the riverine States.

Gajendra Shekhawat, Jal Shakti Minister, said in a written response to a question by Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge that several sets of interventions for cleaning and rejuvenation of the river had been taken up such as treating domestic sewage, industrial effluent, solid waste etc., river front management, maintaining ecological flow, rural sanitation, afforestation, biodiversity conservation, public participation etc. The planned outlay for the Ganga clean up mission, accounting for future costs, is well over ₹20,000 crore

Overall, 346 projects had been taken up at a sanctioned cost of ₹30,235 crore, out of which, 158 projects are completed, the reply said.

An NMCG official told The Hindu that the agency had approached the Finance Ministry for funds to meet the sanctioned cost. “Some of the allotted funds reflect the investments in Ganga-clean up programmes all the way from 1985. The amount sanctioned is much higher because they are sewage treatment infrastructure projects with government support until 15 years from the present,” said D.P. Mathuria, Executive Director, NMCG.

The funding is critical because as of June 30, ₹1,040.63 crore was available with NMCG under the Namami Gange Programme, said Mr. Shekhawat.

Uttar Pradesh, at ₹3,535 crore, has received the maximum funds, followed by Bihar (₹2,631 crore), Bengal (₹1,030 cr) and Uttarakhand (₹1001 cr).

Sewerage projects for towns along the Ganga in Uttarakhand have already been completed for pollution abatement under the Namami Gange program and the Mission has been focussing on rejuvenation of tributaries of the Ganga with priority on the polluted stretches, said a statement from the NMCG on July 17.

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