Government of India has approved new projects at cost of INR 370 crores for the ongoing Ganga rejuvenation programme in Haridwar and Varanasi.
The Centre also decided to include six more towns/ cities under the surface cleaning exercise of the river using trash skimmers.
Surface cleaning of the river Ganga in the cities - Rishikesh, Haridwar, Garh Mukhteshwar, Sahibganj, Kolkata and Navdweep - will begin in Jan 2017.
Urban local bodies will be the nodal agency to monitor this work, approved by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
The number of cities to be covered under the river surface cleaning plan has now reached 12.
The 'Namami Gange' programme was launched as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning river Ganga in an effective manner by involving all stakeholders, especially five major Ganga basin states i.e. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
The programme envisages river surface cleaning, STP infrastructure, river front development, bio-diversity, afforestation and public awareness. The new projects, approved by the NMCG for Haridwar, include setting up 68 million litres per day (MLD) sewage treatment plant (STP) in Jagjeetpur and 14 MLD STP in Sarai at an indicative cost of INR 110.30 crore and INR 25 crore, respectively, under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode.