Sunday, March 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Plan for Ganga pollution control
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 15
A development study to prepare a master plan for quality water management of the Ganga water is being prepared jointly by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Indian Government.

The master plan will suggest a detailed programme of action for cleaning up the Ganga, which has been significantly polluted due to increase in population and human activity in the river basin areas, a JICA press note said yesterday.

The implementation of the master plan and other steps likely to be suggested by the study being taken up under the India-Japan joint initiative will help abate pollution of the Ganga river and improve its water quality.

In the development study, feasibility and appropriate components of the total Ganga cleaning project will be examined in terms of engineering, cost, organisation and management among others.

The JICA is a Japanese Government agency implementing all technical cooperation projects sanctioned under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan.

The Ganga basin is the largest among the 14 major river basins in the country. The sacred river and its three major tributaries of the Yamuna, Gomti and Damodar have been systematically polluted during the past few decades.

In the first phase of the Ganga Action Plan taken up in 1985, the government had attempted measures to abate pollution discharge into the river system from 25 Class I towns which did not cover urban centres.

The emphasis was on interception, diversion and treatment of municipal sewage, construction of toilet complexes, electric crematorium and bathing ghats. Subsequently, some abatement measures were adopted for the Yamuna and Gomti with separate action plans.

Under the Ganga Action Plan, about 35 per cent of the present pollution load of the river was cleared.

The inception report laying down the methodology for undertaking the development study was discussed at a meeting of experts of both countries earlier this week.

Representatives of the Uttar Pradesh Government, agencies concerned and Central Pollution Control Board participated in the meeting. Both sides agreed to the methodology given in the inception report.

Accordingly, the team of experts will analyse the pollutants flowing into the river system and formulate by next March a master plan for containing the pollutants and improving its water quality.


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