The solution is simple – stop the sewage.
An effective model needs to be implemented so that it can be replicated in all river cities. Then Ganga will be clean by 2020 as promised in Mission Clean Ganga.
We need to:
1. Capture: Install an interceptor appropriate to each location to capture all the sewage before it flows into the Ganga.
2. Clean: Install sewage treatment plants that, completely treat the sewage, reclaim water and precious nutrients, require minimal electricity to operate, remove harmful disease causing pathogens and that sequester carbon.
3. Coordinate: Coordinate all existing bodies, national, state and local, making sure they are working together to ensure effective pilot models before replicating, and that sewage treatment capacity matches projected future population needs.
4. Check: Regularly verify that the sewage treatment system is functioning properly and rigorously monitor and report river water quality.
In Varanasi such an effective model has already been designed and approved. It features a gravity fed riverside interceptor sewer and an Advanced Integrated Wastewater Ponding System (AIWPS) sewage treatment plant, that, reclaims water and precious nutrients, requires minimal electricity to operate, removes harmful disease causing pathogens and sequesters carbon.
In 2008 the Government of India (GoI) approved a pilot AIWPS system to treat 37MLD (Million litres a day) of sewage in Varanasi and agreed to build a sewage interceptor pipe for 100MLD. The riverside interceptor and AIWPS were also agreed to by the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in 2010; by Varanasi Nagar Nigam, District Magistrate, Varanasi Mayor, National River Conservation Directorate and the Sankat Mochan Foundation in 1997; and also by a Technical Committee set up by the Environment Ministry in 1998.
The question isn’t about approval, it’s about implementation. We ask you to begin in Varanasi now:
1. Construct a riverside gravity fed interceptor that captures the sewage flowing into the river from upstream of Nagwa to downstream of Varuna.
2. Construct the AIWPS sewage treatment pilot plant approved by the Government of India to treat 37MLD (Million litres a day) of sewage at Ramna.
3. Construct an AIWPS sewage treatment plant at Sota that will treat all the remaining sewage flowing into the Ganga River from Varanasi.
4. Coordinate a plan between all the different bodies running Ganga projects in Varanasi, including JNNURM, JICA, UP Jal Nigam, Varanasi Nagar Nigam, Government of India and Sankat Mochan Foundation.