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OUR MISSION - NOT A DROP OF SEWAGE IN GANGA IN THE RELIGIOUS BATHING AREA AT VARANASI

GAP FAILURE
SMF - NEWS SMF YEARS GANGA POLLUTION

 

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SMF - NEWS
SMF YEARS

 

 

FAILURE OF THE GANGA ACTION PLAN

The Ganga Action Plan launched by the Government of India with much fanfare has failed miserably in its objectives. The pollution levels in Ganga are either same or even higher. What is worse, the authorities, viz. the Jal Nigam and the State and Central Governments refuse to acknowledge the failure, not to speak of taking corrective action.

Here is a brief of the Ganga Action Plan and the findings of the Sankat Mochan Foundation:

Hundred of millions of people of India live in cities situated on the banks of the river Ganga. Many of these cities have population of over a million each and are also heavily industrialized. The threat to the ecosystem of Ganga caused by the sewage and industrial effluents was realised by the Government of India in 1986. The Ganga Action Plan was launched in that year. But it has miserably failed to meet the expectations of the people and even of its planners.

The Sankat Mochan Foundation found that the schemes for Varanasi under the GAP Phase-I suffered from several shortcomings. Some major ones are:

  1. The sewage pump at Konia terminal, when run to its capacity causes heavy surcharging of the old trunk sewer. It causes erosion of the sewer linings and also spillage of sewage from manholes in low-lying areas of the city.

  2. Over 115 mld sewage, which could be easily handled by the Konia Terminal, is actually being diverted to Dinapur Sewage Treatment Plant. the Dinapur STP can handle only 80 mld, resulting in by-passing of 35 mld untreated sewage into Varuna and eventually into Ganga. This is also very expensive in terms of energy consumption. 

  3. Power breakdowns, which are common in Varanasi, causes a sudden back pressure in the system and massive spillage of sewage onto the roads and streets of the city.

  4. The plant at Dimapur has to be shut down completely during monsoons. Thus for three to four months in a year all the sewage goes untreated.

  5. The biogas generator in the Dinapur STP does not function hence the plant is ineffective due to shortage of power. Tens of millions of Rupees have been wasted on its construction, while the villages around the Dinapur STP suffer from polluted water, water borne diseases and mosquitoes.

The realities of the GAP Phase-I Schemes for Varanasi

  1. BOD in the religious bathing area remains dangerously high even after completion of the GAP I. The BOD is as high as 25 mg/l at the confluence of Ganga and Varuna. 

  2. The fecal coliform varied from  70000 mpn/100ml to 1.5 million/100ml. The BOD and the fecal coliform levels increase from upstream to downstream as more and more untreated sewage enters the river. 

  3. These values when compared with those six kilometers upstream of Assi are an eye opener. The figures in this area, where the city of Varanasi starts and no point discharges of effluents take place are 2mg/l of BOD and undetectable fecal coliform.

  4. Even in the treated sewage coming out from the Dimapur STP, the BOD is dangerously high at 50mg/l against a maximum permissinle value of 20mg/l. Suspended solids are 100mg/l. Fecal coliform levels remain as high as that entering the STP, since there is no arrangement for controlling it.

 

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