New Delhi: Cleaning of river Ganga is expected to be completed by 2020, by which time desired results of initiatives taken up for the purpose will be visible, the government has said.
In reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said cleaning of the river Ganga was a massive task.
"The present initiative of Ganga cleaning is expected to be completed by 2020, by which time most of the projects that have initiated/proposed are expected to be completed and desired results will be visible," she said.
The National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGBRA) was launched in 2009 with the renewed vision of cleaning river Ganga using a basin wide approach.
Since inception and till NGBRA was launched (1985-2009), 966 projects for cleaning Ganga were launched, 902 projects were completed and 2495.73 million litres per day (MLD) treatment capacity was created, she added.
"Under NGBRA, 93 projects have been sanctioned in 55 towns in main stem Ganga states at a cost of Rs. 7350.38 crore. The sanctioned projects are estimated to create a treatment capacity of 762 MLD," Bharti said.
On the other hand, responding to another query Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said that as per the CPCB assessment, 764 Grossly Pollution Industries (GPIs) units are utilising 1123 MLD of water and discharging 501 MLD of waste water.
According to him, CPCB has issued directions under Section 5 of Environment Protection Act to 200 industries and directions under Section 18 (1) (b) of the Water (PCP) Act, 1974 to 178 industries.
"In addition, it has issued closure directions to 68 units. The Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board has also issued closure directions to 98 tanneries for operating without the consent of the Board on the directions of National Green Tribunal," Mr Jat added.