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Uttarakhand submits Ganga action plan to Centre

The Uttarakhand government on Wednesday submitted its Rs 9,478-crore action plan to the Centre to clean the Ganga from Gaumukh to Haridwar in the state.

Government officials said in its plan submitted to Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti here, the government had mentioned 13 broad proposals through which the river could be cleaned. However, there was no mention of cleaning highly polluted rivers such as Rispana and Bindal in Dehradun that are causing huge pollution in the Ganga.

Among the proposals, the government said it would create new sewage systems at 132 locations in the state at a cost of Rs 7,634 crore. Besides, it also pledged to construct 590,000 new toilet facilities at 730 locations at a cost of Rs 219 crore. Biodigester mobile toilets along the Chardham yatra route would also be constructed.

The government said it will create new solid waste management systems at a cost of Rs 829.66 crore but did not elaborate how it will collect the garbage in the state where millions of pilgrims and tourists visit every year.

The government also committed to setting up common effluent treatment plants at various locations to check the industrial pollution in the river Ganga.

A total of 159 locations have been identified in the state along the river and its tributaries where new crematoriums could be built.

Focusing on riverfront development activities, the government said it would try to replicate Gujarat’s Sabarmati river model in Uttarakhand also. These river front activities would eventually also help in promoting tourism, Chief Minister Harish Rawat told Bharti.

The government said a special eco task force would also be set up to preserve the rich flora and fauna of the state. As part of aquatic life preservation, the government said it had prepared a Rs 3.92-crore plan to conserve fish such as Mahashir.

Rawat said the government would focus on eco-tourism and all those commercial activities that do not disturb the fragile eco-system of the hill state. Bharti said the Centre will render all possible help to the state.

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