The government is unlikely to be able to clean the Ganga by 2018, a target set by Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti.
Union Water Resources Ministry blames State govt and NGT
Unreasonable directions by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) questioning the operating capacity of sewage treatment plants in Uttar Pradesh and a delay in clearances by State governments to execute projects have caused delay in cleaning of Ganga.
Work at developing the sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Uttar Pradesh had stopped because different expert groups, tasked by the court to estimate the sewage in the drains, had conflicting figures.
Ever since the Supreme Court had transferred 30-year-old cases, which dealt with the tardiness in cleaning the Ganga, to the NGT, it has routinely pulled up officials in the Central Pollution Control Board and the Union Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, and the Uttar Pradesh State Water Board, for poorly executing projects.
1. The NGT has fined officials for inaccurate information on the 30 drains in the State and “wasting public money” on commissioning projects that didn’t properly account for the pollution load in the city.
2. It has also tasked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with probing how certain projects were cleared by the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam in Garhmukteshwar.
Meager financial sanction
Out of a Rs. 20,000-crore clean-up programme, only Rs. 2,000 crore has been sanctioned to the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the executive authority tasked with commissioning treatment plants, cleaning and beautifying the ghats and setting up improved crematoria.