In line with the ruling BJP’s pre-poll promise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to launch the work on ‘Clean Ganga’ action plan later this month, official sources said .
While entry-level activities relating to the ambitious ‘Namami Gange’ programme are already underway, execution of the comprehensive action plan aimed at freeing the river of waste and ensuring its unfettered flow is expected to be launched around May 15.
The Water Resources Ministry, which is executing the ambitious programme, may also invite Modi for an event to be held in October this year to mark the completion of the first leg of the cleaning operation.
“Entry-level activities are already underway at many places along the river. But implementation of the comprehensive action plan will take off sometime around May 15. The Government intends to clean the river by July 2018,” the source said.
Sources said, Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) roped in for “condition assessment” of existing infrastructure, including ghats along the Ganga and their capacity utilisation, have completed their studies.
Engineers India Ltd (EIL), National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), WAPCOS Ltd, National Projects Construction Corporation Ltd (NPCC) and Engineering Projects India Ltd are the CPSUs the Government has engaged for the purpose.
They said the CPSUs will begin surface cleaning of Ganga’s mainstream post-monsoon and that the effect of phase I activities under the project will become visible in October this year.
“If we clean the river surface now, it will become dirtier again during monsoon. So, it is advisable we begin the work post-monsoon so we need not repeat the work while the surface is cleared,” they said.
The tendering process to set up sewage treatment plants (STPs), a medium-term activity under the project, in 118 towns along the Ganga will take “some time” to be completed, sources said. The actual construction of the plants would take about a year after the tendering process has been completed.
“It is a huge work. So, we want such bidders to come forward who will deliver quality job, who are worried about their image,” the sources said.