NEW DELHI: The Quality Council of India (QCI) released a report under the vision of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) which revealed 66 of 97 towns along Ganga have at least one drain flowing into Ganga River. 31 of these are in West Bengal. West Bengal has 41 towns along the river, followed by 21 in Uttar Pradesh, 18 in Bihar, 16 in Uttarakhand and 2 in Jharkhand.
The survey was carried out between November 1 and December 15, 2018 on four major priority area -overall cleanliness, solid waste management services, drains and screens, and availability of a municipal solid waste plant in the town.
As per the report, 19 towns across the Ganga basin have a municipal solid waste plant within the town, and in 33 towns, inspectors found solid waste floating on at least one of the Ghats of the town. 13 Towns in Uttar Pradesh including Prayagraj, Ramnagar, Varanasi and Kanpur, were found to have drains directly discharging into the river. Ten towns in Uttarakhand, including Haridwar and Rishkesh, had a similar issue. In several instances across the states, it was found that dumping sites were close to the ghats.
56 per cent towns in Bihar have drains near the river and have no screens installed. In West Bengal, the report states, “three per cent towns have screens installed at the nullah and in three per cent towns it was found that screens are choked with solid waste”.
State in-charges were given a time limit of February 2019 to achieve 100 per cent source segregation in a stocktaking workshop where the report was presented. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga said that his team will do an assessment by mid-March.