Centre releases Rs 249 crore for West Bengal under GAP II
The Centre has released Rs 249.68 crore for West Bengal under the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in phase II and will benefit to 196 schemes in 31 towns of the state. The money has been granted under the National River Conservation Development (NRCD).
To treat the river eco-system, the development works include interception and diversion of raw sewage, construction of sewage treatment plants, crematoria, river front development, afforestation etc. A sewage treatment capacity of 183 mld (Million litres per day) has been sanctioned under GAP-II in West Bengal, out of which 11 STPs with a total capacity of about 68 mld have already been created.
The works are being implemented by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority along with five other agencies designated by the West Bengal Government for the purpose of creating sewage treatment plants, industrial effluents treatment plants, toilet complexes, electric crematoria and improvement of bathing ghats and river front developments etc.
GAP started in February 1985 was aimed to tackle pollution from municipal sewage that contributed for over 75% of river pollution. The Ministry of Environment and Forest in close association with respected state authorities has been engaged in developing infrastructure to control river pollution through this fully central sponsored scheme. However, the project has been under criticism from different fronts questioning its proper implementation.
As far as West Bengal is concerned, the centre has released another installment of Rs 18 crore to the state considering good progress of work under GAP Phase II which is now under National River Conservation Programme.
The state also received Rs 24.93 crore in second installment for a new project for the rejuvenation of 22 km stretch of water-body of Adiganga in South 24 parganas. The cost of the project will be shared on 70:30 cost sharing basis between the centre and the state of West Bengal. Interception and diversion of sewage construction, sewage treatment plants, merging of water bodies, deweeding and development of Eco Park. The central government has already released Rs 4 crore as first installment for this work.
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