No matter how many earnest measures the government may have taken to clean up Ganga, but the objective of restoring Ganga’s pristine glory is bound to elude the authority. In its latest report to the Supreme Court of India, Planning Commission has said that even achieving a 100 per cent sewage treatment plant utilisation would end up cleaning just one-third of the total waste generated in the Ganga basin.
The report titled, ‘Report on Utilisation of Funds and Assets Created through GAP in States under GAP was tabled before the Supreme court which is monitoring the Ganga Action Plan in its bid to ensure that the river is kept clean.
Commenting on the health of the river, the Commission said, “The goal of cleaning Ganga has not been fully achieved. The quality of the river water at some locations has marginally improved while in many other locations, the quality in terms of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) has, in fact, worsened. Quality in terms offaecal coliform (FC) count has been poor virtually all along the river downstream of Haridwar.”
Blaming the deterioration of the river on “faulty planning of capacities”, despite satisfactory utilisation of funds under GAP I and GAP II, the Commission noted, “Even if all the targeted capacities materialise and operate, the problem will still persist as the domestic sewage being generated is many times the STP (sewage treatment plant) capacity installed.”
To achieve the intended target to cleanse the Ganga, the report said that for meeting the projected requirement for 2020, “the resource required would vary from Rs 2,812 crore to Rs 9,788 crore”.