Cleaning Ganga is a multi-generational effort: Genevieve Connors of World Bank
Sarika Malhotra March 28, 2016
Genevieve Connors, Senior Water Resources Specialist, World Bank talks to Business Today's Sarika Malhotra about World Bank's involvement in cleaning the mighty Ganga. The World Bank committed $1 billion in 2011 to the National Ganga River Basin project.
Q: What are your reasons for supporting the cleaning of Ganga?
The World Bank is supporting the Government of India in its effort to rejuvenate the Ganga River. The $1 billion National Ganga River Basin Project is helping the government build institutional capacity for rejuvenating the river. It is also financing key infrastructure investments in the five mainstream states - Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Q: Funds disbursed so far and what is the level of World Bank engagement for Ganga rejuvenation?
Q: What is the status of the current projects that World Bank is involved with?
In the state of Jharkhand clearance has been accorded for an investment of $ 16.6 million for building 55 Km of sewer network and a 12 MLD of wastewater treatment plant at Sahibganj.
In Uttar Pradesh, investments worth more than $250 million are focusing on reducing the pollution load in the river in key cities and towns that lie along the river's most critically polluted stretch.
In Allahabad alone, the project will help build two sewage treatment plants as well as 800 km of sewerage networks in four city districts, covering almost 80 percent of the city's population of nearly 1.3 million people. Of this, work for building 30 MLD and 470 km of networks has already started, and these investments are likely to be completed by March 2018. To further expand the sewage network, a contract for $ 42 million for building another 250 km of network is likely to be signed by March 2016.
In another city of UP, Narora, $7.5 million contract for building 21 km of sewage line has been awarded; a further investment of $12.5 million for 59 Km of network and 4 MLD of wastewater treatment plant has been cleared for contracting.
In Bihar, for Wastewater Conveyance & Treatment a total of $290 million is earmarked for sewer networks and wastewater treatment plants in the state. Construction works are underway at Buxar and Begusrai which when completed in September 2018 will handle 33 MLD of wastewater.
Investments totaling $230 million are planned in Patna city for building 500 kms of sewer networks and 100 MLD of wastewater treatment plant which will help the city to safely collect and treat its wastewater. These works are expected to start in a phased manner beginning in April 2016. In addition, a sewerage system and wastewater plant is also planned at Munger for which the bid documents are under preparation.
Other important work is on riverfront development. An ongoing $43 million investment in river-front development in Patna will not only build a new a 6-km promenade along the river but also help upgrade public infrastructure such as toilets, bathing areas and other public amenities at 21 ghats. The Patna river-front works are expected to be completed by December 2016.
In West Bengal Wastewater Conveyance & Treatment investments worth more than $ 110 million are envisaged to improve the wastewater treatment status in three towns of Halishaher, Budge Budge and Barrackpore. Work will begin soon to build a total of 50 MLD and 600 km of sewerage networks in these three cities. These investments will be completed by March 2019. Work on the engineering design for managing and treating the wastewater load in Tolly's Nullah in Kolkata is also ongoing. On Riverfront Development again work on planning and designing riverfront works in Kolkata has started; this will include consultations and interactions with the local residents to ensure their inputs feed into the design of this important city area.
For Water Quality Monitoring some 30 state-of-the-art, real-time water quality monitoring stations will be installed along the river in the first phase of a larger effort to acquire reliable water quality data.
These will be managed by the Central Pollution Control Board and will strengthen the regulation and oversight of the river's pollution load by helping planners better understand the point-source versus non-point source origins of pollution, as well as to assess the impact of treatment on the water's quality. Bid evaluation for the establishment of real time monitoring station (data supplier) has been completed and is now reviewed by NMCG. Installation works are expected to start in April 2016.