NEW DELHI: Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways held a meeting with Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in New Delhi today, to discuss the progress of Solid Waste Management (SWM) projects in towns along the River Ganga. Emphasizing the need to expedite SWM projects, Gadkari said that while the National Mission for Clean Ganga is executing over 250 projects for liquid waste management through STPs, and also projects for development of ghats and crematoria in the five states along Ganga, the river will not be totally clean unless the problem of managing solid waste is addressed expeditiously.
Gadkari urged MoHUA to expedite the SWM projects for the 97 towns identified along River Ganga, spread over the five states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Construction, DPR making should all be put on the fast track, he said. The Minister further urged that ways should be explored regarding re-use of the waste material – for example using plastic waste for road construction or making compost and fertilizers after proper treatment and enrichment of the organic waste.
The Minister also asked MoH&UA to ensure adequate arrangements for the tapping of solid waste entering into the river through drains, disposal of the collected waste from ghats, river banks etc., door-to-door waste collection. The need for similar interventions in important towns along Rivers Yamuna, Kali, Ramganga, Hindon etc. was also discussed in the meeting. Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Durga Shanker Mishra and Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) Rajiv Ranjan Mishra were also present for the meeting.
Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, MoHUA said that his Ministry has asked Chief Secretaries of the Ganga basin states to achieve 100% Solid Waste Management by December 2018, remove waste dumps within 1 km of River Ganga and install bar screens on drains falling into River Ganga to prevent solid waste flowing into the river. He said monthly reviews through video conferences are being done and every possible support is being given to the States. He emphasized the need for segregation of waste at source and also assured that ways would be explored for reusing waste in productive and environment-friendly ways.
SWM is an important component of NamamiGange programme. It is a state subject and the primary responsibility of State Governments / Urban Local Bodies. At the Central level, this activity falls under the mandate of MoHUA.NamamiGange programme stipulates that while STP projects will be funded by NMCG, other works will be undertaken by Ministries as per their mandates. MoHUA is, therefore, undertaking SWM projects in 97 Ganga towns under Swachch Bharat Mission. The 97 towns have been identified by NMCH.
The overall solid waste generation in these 97 towns along River Ganga is 11,428 tons per day (TPD). Out of this, West Bengal generates 6001 TPD, highest among the five main stem Ganga basin states, followed by Uttar Pradesh where 3,282 TPD solid wastes are generated per day. Bihar, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand generate 1,771 TPD, 347 TPD, and 27 TPD solid wastes respectively.
To bridge the gap between the solid waste generation and the available processing capacity, SWM projects are being taken up on a war-footing. About 667 Detailed Projects Reports (DPRs) have already been approved whereas 413 have been submitted for approval in the five Ganga basin states. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, 240 and 173 DPRs have been submitted for approval respectively.
The work being done by MoH&UAis in addition to various other activities undertaken by NMCG like Ghat Cleaning in Varanasi and River Surface Cleaning through Trash Skimmers in 11 important towns. After the success of Ghat cleaning project in Varanasi, NMCG has approved similar projects in Bithoor, Kanpur, Allahabad, Haridwar, and Mathura-Vrindavan as well.