Rs. 373 crore released under Ganga Action Plan-II

The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase I, the first attempt as a centrally funded scheme for river conservation was launched in the year 1985. The Plan was taken up to treat partial pollution load of the river. Under this Plan, 260 pollution abatement schemes spread over 25 towns in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal were completed at an expenditure of Rs.452 crore leading to the creation of additional sewage treatment capacity of 869 million litres per day (mld). GAP Phase-I was declared closed in March, 2000. Since GAP Phase-I did not cover the pollution load of Ganga fully, GAP Phase II which included Plans for Yamuna, Gomti, Damodar and Mahananda besides Ganga was approved in various stages from 1993 onwards. The present sanctioned cost of works for Ganga river (main stem) under GAP Phase-II is Rs.564 crore against which an amount of Rs.373.58 crore has been released to the State Implementing Agencies. Out of a total of 311 schemes sanctioned, 185 schemes have been completed so far and the balance schemes are in different stages of implementation.

With the completion of the pollution abatement works under GAP Phase – I & II, notwithstanding the phenomenal increase in the urban population leading to substantial increase in the pollution load of the river Ganga over the past years, water quality of Ganga has shown improvement at major locations over its pre-GAP quality in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). The BOD values in the year 2008 range between 1.2 to 4.8 mg./litre in major monitoring locations as compared to BOD values ranging between 1.7 to 15.5 mg./litre in 1986. This is as per the water quality monitoring undertaken by independent reputed institutions like the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and Indian Toxicological Research Centre (ITRC), Lucknow. The Government has initiated an exercise for revamping the Ganga Action Plan with a view to promoting a holistic and integrated approach.

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