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Ganga River Health Very Poor  
Source:   Asian age City   : NewDelhi Published On   15-12-2009  


It was a telling remark on how the Ganga remains polluted despite the crores that have been poured into projects to ensure it remains clean.

As Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, "The Ganga is not as clean as it should have been. The health of the Ganga is very poor. It leaves a lot to be desired."

Mr Ramesh did not mince words when he told the House that the single most important reason why the Ganga remains polluted is that urban local bodies had neither the financial nor the managerial resources to operate and maintain sewage and effluent treatment plants. These plants were installed to ensure that the Ganga was not a recipient of industrial effluents and municipal sewage. As the environment minister informed the House during Question Hour, 75 per cent of this mighty river's pollution is caused by municipal sewage and 25 per cent by industrial sewage.

Well aware of the constraints faced by ULBs on both the financial and managerial fronts, the minister told MPs that the government has now proposed to the 13th Finance Commission that for the next five years, the Centre bears the cost of both operating and maintaining the sewage and effluent treatment plants.
He said this would cost the Centre around Rs 1,300 crore. Mr Ramesh informed the House that at present, nearly 3,000 million litres of sewage is drained into the Ganga as it traverses five states and 2,500 kilometres.
The minister stated that only 20 per cent of the sewage had been treated under (GAP) I and II.

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