Ganga Action Plan (GAP) is being implemented since 1985 for undertaking pollution abatement activities in the identified polluted stretches of the river Ganga through implementation of works like interception and diversion of sewage, setting up of sewage treatment plants, low cost sanitation works, crematoria works etc. An amount of Rs.1441.44 crore has been released towards implementation of various pollution abatement works in towns along the river Ganga and sewage treatment capacity of 1091 million litres per day (mld) has been created.
With the pollution abatement works completed so far, despite significant increase in urbanization, industrialization and growth in population in cities along the banks of river Ganga, the water quality in terms of BOD (Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand) values is reported to have improved as compared to the pre-GAP water quality on major monitoring locations. However, the levels of bacterial contamination in terms of fecal coliform are reported to be exceeding the maximum permissible limit at a number of locations.
In light of experience gained in implementation of the river action plans since 1985, the conservation strategy was reviewed by the Government. Accordingly, in February 2009, the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has been constituted as an empowered, planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating authority with the objective to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga by adopting a holistic river basin approach.
The NGRBA in its first meeting has resolved that under Mission Clean Ganga it will be ensured that by 2020 no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluents flow into Ganga and the investments required to create the necessary treatment and sewage infrastructure will be shared suitably between the Central and the State Governments. Projects amounting to Rs. 2598 crore have been sanctioned so far under the NGRBA programme. An expenditure of Rs. 391.37 crore has been made so far towards sanctioned projects in the States under the Authority. Besides, a project with World Bank assistance for abatement of pollution of river Ganga at an estimated cost of Rs. 7000 crore has been approved under the NGRBA for implementation in the States.
Expenditure incurred during 2009-2010, 2010-2011 & 2011-2012 under the NGRBA Programme are Rs. 99.74 crores, Rs. 466.43 crores and Rs. 53.44 crores respectively. Of these, expenditure incurred in respect of West Bengal is Rs. 57.08 crores, Rs. 192.36 crores and Nil respectively.
It has been decided that from current financial year, year-wise allocation of fund would be made based on the Annual Action plan finalized in consultations with the 5 (five) basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhnad and West Bengal. For the financial year 2012-13, the annual allocation has been made for Rs. 512.50 crores under the NGRBA Programme.