(GIST OF YOJANA) On the Road to Swachh Bharat [NOVEMBER-2018]

(GIST OF YOJANA) On the Road to Swachh Bharat


On the Road to Swachh Bharat

When the Prime Minister gave a clarion call for Swachh Bharat on October 2, 2014, he knew the task ahead was daunting. The sanitation infrastructure in the country was grossly inadequate, millions of people defecated in the open, effective waste management was an almost alien concept and maintaining cleanliness occupied little or no priority in society. If providing sanitation infrastructure for 125 crore people was a challenge, then invoking a sense of cleanliness among them and effecting behavioural changes was even more difficult. But fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean and hygienic India is a major commitment for the government. It is also an integral part of our Prime Minister’s vision for a New India. So, over the past four years, the government has worked consistently in this direction towards creating sanitation infrastructure like toilets and waste management facilities and running sustained awareness campaigns to motivate people to adopt cleanliness as a way of life.

Cleaning the Ganga

While earlier efforts to clean GAnga have not yielded much result, th recent government initiative, Namami Ganga programme launched in 2015 has made good headway in this direction. For the first time a separate ministry was made for Ganga Rejuvenation in 2014 and Namami GAnga was approved as a flagship programme with an outlay of Rs. 20,000 crore in 2015. The National Mission for clean Ganga that is responsible for implementing the programme was declared as an Authority under Environment Protection Act 1986, giving it more powers in 2016, and State and District Ganga Committees were established in 2017 .

The Rs. 20,000 crore allocation for the period 2015-2020 under this programme is the largest provision made in the history of Ganga cleaning so far. 240 projects worth Rs. 22,238 crore have already been sanctioned under the programme so far. These projects include sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria, river front development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, and rural sanitation. 64 of these projects have been completed and the rest are at various stages of execution . 97 towns have been identified along the mainstream of river GAnga, generating 3603 MLD (estimated for year 2035) of sewage. The existing sewage treatment capacity in these towns is only 1651 MLD, and will be enhanced under the programme. Out of these 97 towns, the ten most polluting town of Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, farrukhabad, VAranasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Kolkata, Howrah and Bally are being covered extensively under STPs .

Innovative Models

We have also brought in some innovative models in the sector like the Hybrid Annuity Model and One-City One-operator concept where all new and existing STPs will be under charge of one private operator,ensuring better upkeep and maintenance. The STP project coming up in Mathura is a unique one. It has been awarded on HAM mode under One-City One-Operator Concept. The same private operator will build a new STo of 30 MLD capacity, upgrade three old STPs of 38 MLD capacity and be responsible for running and upkeep of all STPs. The IOCL refinery at Mathura will reuse the waste water, buying it at a rate of Rs, 8.70 per litre. This will save 2 crore litres of Yamuna water that was being used by IOCL, and make it available for other usage.

In addition 16 projects have been taken up taken up on Ganga tributaries, like YAmuna ( Sonipat and Panipat in Haryana, Delhi, Mathura, and Vrindavan in UP) and Kosi (Naugachia, Bihar). These projects are for creating 1353 MLD sewage treatment capacity at a cost of Rs. 3028 crore. More projects will soon come up in nearly 68 towns on other tributaries of the river.

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Swachhata in the Roads

Swachhata is also a major priority in my two other ministries- Road Transport and Highways and Shipping. We are promoting the use of waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly mode of transport. Around 111 waterways have been declared as National WAterways and will be developed for transport. Work is already on for developing 10 of these waterways including Ganga and Brahmaputra. In addition to this, I am also trying to promote the use of cleaner feel like Ethanol, MEthanol, Bio-diesel, Bio CNG and electricity in the transport sector as alternatives to petrol and diesel.

Green Ports

The Ministry of Shipping has also focussed on the setting up of ‘Green ports’ for sustainable, environment-friendly and long term development of ports . Recently Visakhapatnam Port trust was adjusted as the winner in the category of Outstanding Renewable Energy User in the service sector in India by the Indian Federation of Green Energy. The port consumes 1.2 MU of power per year and 100 per cent of its power consumption is being from green energy

I must point out that all these above endeavours have shown positive results because of good coordination and support from multiple agencies involved at every step- central and state agencies, the NGOs, and, most important, the people of the country who are gradually getting motivate by a image of swachh Bharat and are willing to work to realise the dream. Cleaning up India was a difficult mission that we started in 2014. But four years down the line, we, as a country, can take collective pride in claiming that we have covered significant ground in this direction and positive results are coming in.

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