(GIST OF YOJANA) On the Road to Swachh
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
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 .
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.
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.
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.