The whopping Rs 20,000 crore Ganga Rejuvenation project are gaining some tractions. To make Ganga pollution-free, around 34 projects worth Rs 3,581 crore have been sanctioned, while 56 projects worth Rs 9,630 crore have been approved since 2014 till date.
Says Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, “Around 18 of these projects are ready and others will also be implemented by March 2019 and most of the projects awarded are sewage treatment plants in various states.” He added: “We have also taken over sewage plants run by the state governments and providing 100 per cent funding assistance to the state governments for operation and maintenance for the next 15 years.”
Recently, the ministry has awarded two projects for Haridwar and Varanasi under hybrid annuity mode (HAM). It is the first time ever in India that HAM-based PPP is being applied in the sewerage sector. The 50 MLD STP in Varanasi was awarded to a consortium led by Essel Infra Projects at an estimated cost of Rs 153.16 crore. In Haridwar, HNB Engineers won the contract for a total sewage treatment capacity of 82 MLD (68 MLD in Jagjeetpur and 14 MLD in Sarai) at an estimated cost of Rs 171.53 crore. The awarded projects would ensure that untreated sewage does not flow into River Ganga, thus giving a boost to India’s flagship Namami Gange programme. The construction of these two new, greenfield STPs will commence shortly.
A second set of sewage treatment projects (STPs) under HAM are on the anvil. The upcoming projects which have already been sanctioned under HAM are at Naini, Jhusi and Phaphamau along with Allahabad (72 MLD); at Unnao, Shuklaganj, and Bithoor along with Kanpur (21.4 MLD); at Digha and Kankarbagh in Bihar (150); at Kolkata and Howrah (141 MLD); at Farukhabad (30 MLD) and at Bhagalpur (65 MLD). Tender documents for 10 of these projects are being prepared. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has also appointed strategic consultants for PPP design and transaction advisory support for integration of sewage treatment infrastructure in Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna and Kolkata.