Vrindavan, 2019.01.26 (VT): Minister for road transport and highways, shipping and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated projects worth approx. 500 crore for cleaning the river Yamuna under the central government’s flagship program, ‘Namami Gange’.
At an event organised on Wednesday at Vrindavan’s Akshay Patra, the minister assured that Yamuna water will be fit for drinking within 18 months (around March 2020). He further informed that along with the Yamuna, 40 other rivers have also been added to the ‘Namami Gange’ program.
Talking about the ambitious waterways project, Gadkari spelled out plans to connect Delhi and Agra using Airboats by February. The new service is expected to reduce the travel time between the two cities to 1.5 hrs, and bring down the fare to less than a rupee – far cheaper than buses and trains. A similar link is also being envisaged between Delhi and Meerut (40 mins.), he said. Gadkari also shared his vision of developing Mathura as an industrial hub and introducing SkyBus travel in the city.
The minister laid the foundation stone for construction of the new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Jai Singh Pura.
Various projects for river Yamuna, including the construction of 70 Ghats, new or upgraded STPs, and tapping of drains to check dumping in the river, were inaugurated at the event.
Gadkari said that there will be a 160 per cent increase in Yamuna water level after the completion of these projects. At any given time, the waters in Ganga-Yamuna will be 9 feet deep.
Giving more details about the project, Mathura Water Board Program Manager Maharaj Singh, informed that the project will include:
- Construction of a 20 MLD TTRO (Tertiary Treatment Reverse Osmosis) plant at Lakshmi Nagar
- Repair of 3 old STPs
- Upgrade of 8 pumping stations
- New STP at Jai Singh Pura (foundation stone laid by Nitin Gadkari)
- Tapping of drains currently flowing into the Yamuna. According to an affidavit submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by the Municipal Corporation, 12 MLD untreated water is flowing into the Yamuna from 37 drains in Mathura-Vrindavan.
- Upgrade of the 14 MLD Masani STP to 30 MLD
- Changing of a damaged 12 km long pipeline between sewage pumping station and STP.
- A new 10km pipeline will be laid from plant to refinery. Post-treatment water from Gokul Barrage will be given to Mathura refinery for production of Methane Gas which will be used to run 200 buses in the city. Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) will pay Rs. 19 crore (yearly) for this service. It is being said that the initiative will help in saving 2 crore litres of water.
UP Water Board and the contracted agency, Triveni Engineering & Industries, will work on the project as a PPP (Public Private Partnership).
As per the agreement, the work should be completed within 21 months, after which there will be a 3 month trial run. The agency will provide service and maintenance support for 15 years.
Singh is confident that results will be visible within 6 months, and by 2021, Yamuna will be pollution free.
Work has also started on preventing sewage and drains from Delhi and Haryana from running into the Yamuna.
Gokul Nagar Panchayat Chairman, Sanjay Dixit has also submitted a request to Gadkari for construction of a STP and completion of the sewer line in the town. At present, 3 drains from Gokul are opening into the Yamuna, but, due to lack of funds, the Nagar Panchayat is unable to do anything about it .