Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Meeting of National Ganga River Basin Authority Held

Various decisions were taken during the first meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority held in India’s capital recently.

The first meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) was held on Monday (October 5) under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh in India’s capital Delhi.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of the states of Uttarakhand and Bihar, Union Ministers of Urban Development, Water Resources, Science & Technology and Environment and Forests, besides the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission.

In the meeting the following decisions were taken.

Approval for Mission Clean Ganga: No untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluent to enter Ganga by 2020 : The Authority decided that under Mission Clean Ganga it will be ensured that by 2020 no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluents flow into Ganga.

Currently there is a sewage treatment capacity of only about 1000 mld (million litres per day) against 3000 mld sewage being generated in the towns along Ganga.

An estimated investment of Rs 15,000 crores over next 10 years will be required to create the necessary treatment and sewerage infrastructure.

It was agreed that the required resources will be provided by Centre and States over ten-year period to be shared suitably between Centre and states after Planning Commission consultations.

New and innovative models for implementation like, for instance, special purpose vehicles to be adopted.

While comprehensive river basin management plan will be ready by December, 2010, on-going sewage treatment projects to be put on fast-track and states to formulate DPRs for new such projects in critical pollution hotspots and major towns on Ganga and major tributaries by November 30, 2009.

Tripartite MOAs will be signed by February 1, 2010 and initial portfolio of projects will be sanctioned by March 1, 2010.

Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to work with states and prepare specific action plans for dealing with the problem of industrial pollution in Ganga Basin by January 31, 2010.

The issue of hydro electric projects In the upper reaches of Bhagirathi (Loharinag Pala , Pala Maneri and Bhairon Ghati) to be studied by Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Power and report submitted to NGRBA in 60 days time.

A Standing Committee of NGRBA will be constituted headed by Union Finance Minister to meet more frequently and review implementation.

An empowered Steering committee headed by Union Environment Secretary is to be set up for fast track clearance of projects on JNNURM lines.

Union Ministry of Environment and Forests will also create separate and distinct professional team to service the NGRBA and the Empowered Standing Committee.

Courtesy : Press Information Bureau

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