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Funds to clean Ganga litter

Patna, Feb. 14: Ganga is set to get cleaner. The Centre has approved Rs 600 crore as the second instalment for the Patna sewerage project.

Another Rs 500 crore had already been sanctioned under the ambitious project that aims at door-to-door connectivity for collection and discharge of wastewater.

The sewage project falls under the centrally sponsored National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) and the state government has appointed Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) as the executing agency for the project.

“During a meeting of NGRBA in New Delhi last week, the authority sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 600 crore for Patna sewerage project. Patna has been divided into six zones for this project and now we have funds for carrying out the works in four zones after the recent sanction,” said a BUIDCo official.

The project aims at developing the maiden pipeline based sewerage network in the city. Singapore-based Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd. has prepared the detailed project report.

The urban development and housing department has submitted a proposal for the scheme for an estimated outlay of Rs 2,580 crore to NGRBA. The length of the pipeline under the scheme would be around 1,600km. It entails overhaul of four existing sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the city and development of two new STPs on the banks of the Ganga.

The board of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) in its meeting on February 1 also gave a no-objection certificate to the sewerage project.

Sources in BUIDCo claimed that the bidding process for the project is expected to be floated only after the elections. “As the election code of conduct is expected to be imposed by the first week of March, the tenders for the project would now be floated after the election gets over,” said a BUIDCo official.

The authorities have taken up the new sewerage project, as the existing wastewater discharge system has become almost defunct. As a result, untreated water from the city gets discharged in to the Ganga. The existing drainage system of Patna was developed in 1968. According to recent estimates, Patna generates 290 million litres of wastewater on a daily basis. Of the total sewage generated by the city, approximately two-thirds, or about 140 million litres per day (MLD), flows directly into the Ganga. The rest seeps underground, polluting the ground sources.

Nearly 30 per cent of the city has no drainage system. The existing sewerage network in the city comprises 535 drains, including six big, 14 medium and 514 minor small drains. Only 20 per cent of these drains are covered. Most drains are in a bad shape, clogged with silt and solid waste. The water from these drains goes to the four STPs at Beur, Pahari, Karmalichak and Saidpur.