New Delhi: The Ganga will flow clean and free from pollution by 2020, National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) announced it in a meeting held here recently.

According to reports, the NGRBA project has identified the causes behind rising level of pollution in Ganga. Also, an elaborate plan has been rolled out to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the national river.

A senior NGRBA official said, “The framework for the river basin has been prepared, which may include 34 projects. Under the scheme USD 3.2 billion would be forked out for abating pollution in selected cities and it was decided that no untreated waste would be discharged into the Ganga till 2020.”

A national level survey, carried out by NGRBA, identified untreated sewage and industrial waste as a major cause for polluting the Ganga. According to the survey, only one-third of the 12,000 million litres per day (mld) sewage, generated in the major cities and towns, is treated before getting discharged into the river.

According to the report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the current sewage treatment capacity is only 1174 mld against 2637 mld of sewage generated from the category-I cities located alongside the mainstream of Ganga.

The sewage treatment capacity of the category-I cities, discharging the sewage into the tributaries of Ganga basin, is worse, which is 146 mld against the 907 mld of waste generated.

The category-II cities having population ranging from 50 thousand to 1 lakh, generally do not have any sewage treatment provision, but the waste matters generated in these cities is comparatively low.

The industrial waste has maximum contribution in the increasing pollution in the national river, though it has only 20 per cent of share in the total discharge flowing into the river. The river basin has as many as 478 industrial units which are the major contributors of pollution.

Amongst the tributaries of the Ganga, Ramganga is the most polluted one, which is considered to be the major cause for polluting the main stream of the Ganga.

JPN/ Bureau