To ensure better co-ordination and improved quality of water, the government plans to have a single operator maintain all sewage treatment plants (STPs) in a city along the Ganga, as part of its efforts to clean the river, a senior official said.
The Union Water Resources Ministry has already invited tender for integrating the existing sewage treatment infrastructure in Mathura with a new 30 million litres daily (MLD) STP to be built there under the hybrid annuity-based public private partnership mode.
Under this mode, the government will pay the operator 40 per cent of the amount initially, while the remaining 60 per cent will be spent by the operator.
The rest of the amount would be paid by the government over a period of 15 years, provided the firm operates and maintains the STP properly and meets the ministrys affluent discharge norms, the official said.
He said efforts are on to integrate STP infrastructures in Allahabad (72 MLD) and Kanpur (49 MLD) in Uttar Pradesh, Patna (150 MLD) in Bihar and Kolkata (136 MLD) in West Bengal.
Tenders for these projects are likely to be invited by the last week of this month, the official said.
There are several STPs in each city along the Ganga. Some of them are old and are not operating properly. Upgradation, operation and maintenance of STPs in the entire town/city would be done by one operator. This will also mean the ministry does not have to deal with five to six operators, the official said.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), which is executing the mission on behalf of the ministry, has sanctioned 97 sewerage infrastructure projects at a cost of Rs 141.2 million to abate pollution in the 2,525-km long river. Of these, 11 are proposed to be completed under the hybrid annuity model.
The NMCG has identified 97 towns (in five Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) along the mainstream of the river which generate 3,603 MLD of sewage. The existing treatment capacity of the towns concerned is 1,584 MLD.
Eighty-nine sewage treatment projects have been taken up in 56 towns along the mainstream of the Ganga. These projects are estimated to create another 1,525 MLD capacity.
Nineteen of the 89 projects have been completed and created 172 MLD capacity, while work on 42 projects are under progress, the official said.