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Prayagraj: NMCG on mission to keep holy rivers pollution-free

New Delhi: Prayagraj - a holy city situated at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and the invisible Saraswati. For centuries, it has remained a revered site for millions of Hindu devotees who come to Prayagraj to take a holy dip and wash away their sins at the Triveni Sangam.
A continued expansion of the city over time coupled with the exponential rise in the number of tourists has resulted in the generation of massive amounts of sewerage, which was directly falling into the river. Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) said G. Asok Kumar, "We have taken up many STPs in Prayagraj under the 'one city one operator' initiative. We have also upgraded many of the existing STPs and we have sanctioned other STPs, so the total capacity for sewage treatment is more than the calculated sewage generated there".
To keep the Ganga and the Yamuna clean and to maintain a continuous flow of water, the National Mission for Clean Ganga undertook the rigorous task of cleaning the river under its flagship Namami Gange project.
The objective was to plug the 350 MLD to 400 MLD sewage discharge of the city, which was earlier falling directly into the river. The NMCG, with the support of state administration, laid down sewerage networks in the city, set up intersections and diversion of sewage networks, and sewage pumping stations, and constructed several Sewage Treatment Plants.
The NMCG also took charge of rehabilitation, operations, and maintenance of existing sewage treatment infrastructure. At present, seven Sewage Treatment Plants in Prayagraj are treating 268 MLD of sewage water. They include 80 MLD Naini-1, 60 MLD Rajapur, 29 MLD Salori, 50 MLD Numayadahi, 25 MLD Kodra, 10 MLD Ponghat and 14 MLD Salori.
Apart from 14 MLD Salori STP, other six plants are running under One City-One Operator Scheme. The Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode includes operations and maintenance of the sewerage infrastructure for 15 years in the city. Major city drains like the Chachar Nullah have been tapped and the sewage water has been diverted into STPs.
Three new STPs of a total capacity of 72 MLD at Naini, Phaphamau, and Jhusi are in the process of getting completed. Once operationalized, no untreated sewage will flow directly into the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The devotees at Triveni Sangam have witnessed the difference and have hailed the authorities for making the holy river clean.
Prayagraj is famous for its historic Kumbh Mela which is held after every 12 years. Kumbh Mela has a significance all over the world as it is considered the largest one and millions of devotees come here to take a holy dip in the Sangam.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga has roped in nearly all stakeholders under its flagship program 'Namami Gange' and made an integrated effort to accomplish its mission to clean the Holy River. As the Padma Puran says, "As the sun is amongst the moon and the moon amongst the stars, likewise Prayag is best amongst all places of pilgrimage". (ANI)

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