Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat reviewed the ongoing Namami Gange projects in Varanasi during his visit to the city today. He inspected the 140 Million Litres Day (MLD) Dinapur Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) from inlet upto outfall point into Varuna. He was accompanied by Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Rajiv Ranjan Mishra.
Union Minister, Shekhawat instructed the officials of Dinapur STP to conduct periodic chemical checks to ensure that the sewage does not have any industrial or other toxic discharge. Under the Namami Gange program, 2 STPs at Dinapur and Goitha (120 MLD) have been recently completed at Varanasi, of which, the Dinapur STP was inaugurated late last year by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in November 2018.
Furthermore, the 50 MLD STP being constructed in Ramana will bolster the existing sewage treatment capacity of the city and take it to 412 MLD which is adequate to meet the sewage treatment demand till 2035 and stop untreated sewage from entering the Ganga in Varanasi.
Inspected Ghats of Varanasi
Shekhawat also inspected all the 84 iconic Ghats of Varanasi by boat with a particular focus on the 26 Ghats, where the projects of repair/ renovation have been taken up under the Namami Gange Program. He also reviewed the project for regular cleaning of the 84 Ghats as well as the river surface cleaning project, both of which have been put in place under the Namami Gange Program to ensure cleanliness in and around the river.
Apart from inspecting the Ghats, he also observed the Ghat pumping stations and tapping of drains. Out of 23 drains, 20 drains have already been tapped. The remaining 3, including Assi are being tapped through Ramana STP project, which is to be completed during this year.
The Minister also visited ‘Ganga Tarini’, a floating museum on a house boat which showcases a film display on Ganga and its rich biodiversity. It is a first of its kind initiative to inform people about the various facets of the river including the social, cultural, historical and economical aspects. Ganga Tarini has been developed by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with NMCG.
Shekhawat also visited ‘Jalaj’, a boat which moves along the Ghats of Varanasi and the nearby villages, displaying and selling products prepared by the Ganga Praharis and local villagers, as a boost to better livelihood opportunities for people living along the banks of the Ganga. The trained Ganga Praharis also educate the local people and tourists regarding Ganga river, biodiversity and cleanliness.