Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated six sewage treatment plants worth over Rs 500 crore in Uttarakhand under the 'Namami Gange' mission, saying with the projects' completion the sewage treatment capacity of the state has gone up nearly four-fold in six years.
The six sewage treatment plants or STPs were inaugurated at Haridwar, Rishikesh, Muni-ki-Reti and Badrinath via video conference.
Describing Ganga as a symbol of the country's cultural glory and faith, PM Modi said that from the point of the river's origin at Gaumukh in Uttarakhand to where it merged with the sea in West Bengal, the mighty river enriched the lives of half of the country's population.
The six projects are a big step towards ensuring the cleanliness of the river, he said.
A 68 MLD STP has been established at Jagjeetpur in Haridwar, a 27 MLD STP upgraded there, an 18 MLD STP at Sarai in the district, a 26 MLD STP at Lakksadghat in Rishikesh, the country's first four-storeyed STP has been set up at Muni-ki-Reti near Rishikesh with a capacity of 7.5 MLD, a five MLD STP at Chorpani in Muni-ki-Reti and two STPs with capacities of 1 MLD and 0.01 MLD have been set up at Badrinath.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated 'Ganga Avalokan', the first museum on the river located at Chandi ghat in Haridwar, saying it was an added attraction for tourists coming to the district. It is aimed at showcasing the culture, biodiversity and rejuvenation activities done in the river, he said.
PM Modi also launched a pictorial book on the river, titled 'Rowing down the Ganges', illustrating what one would see while rowing down from Gaumukh to Ganga Sagar, besides releasing the logo of Jal Jeevan Mission.
PM Modi said the logo of the Jal Jeevan Mission will remind people of the importance of every drop of water.
The Prime Minister said the Namami Gange mission is not confined to just cleaning the Ganga but has been expanded into the country's biggest river conservation programme.
"The government has acted simultaneously on the mission in all directions. We first began creating a network of STPs on the Ganga to stop the release of polluted water into it."
"The STPs have been made in a manner so as to take care of our needs for the next 15 years. We also started making ODF a 100 big cities and 5,000 villages located on the banks of the Ganga, besides stopping pollution in its tributaries," he said.
PM Modi also attacked the previous governments for wasting too much money over Ganga rejuvenation, drinking water and irrigation schemes without any results, claiming there was no coordination between the government departments involved nor was there any people's participation.
"This led to further aggravation of the problems. But today the work culture has changed and every penny is going into the implementation of the projects," he said.
The Prime Minister praised the Jal Shakti Ministry for dealing well with the country's water-related problems and wished it all the success for its 100-day programme that is to be launched from October 2 under which tap water is to be made available at all schools and anganwadi centres.
Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Union Minister for Human Resource Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also joined the programme via video conference.
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