Varanasi's growing population and the never-stopping influx of tourists across the year has led to most resources in the city exceeding their usage capacity especially the holy river Ganga. With millions flogging to the holy city for performing prayers and last rights, Varanasi generates about 300 million litres of sewage per day. Reportedly, the sewage generation in the city is much higher than its existing capacity.
Following this strain on the city's resources, the government has announced several projects for the treatment of sewer under the Namami Gange program. The Clean Ganga or Namami Gange programme is, as the name suggests, a massive, central government-led initiative to cleanse the river. Work is in full swing to tap major drains flowing into the river and divert them to sewage treatment plants (STPs).
"In Dinapur, 140 MLD STP we have added, 120 MLD STP in Goithaha was also inaugurated. So, we have added 260 MLD STPs. Another plant of 50 MLD STP is under construction at Ramana which will be completed by March. So, once all of them come, we will actually exceed 400 MLD capacity with old and new put together", said Ranjan Mishra, Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga.
With an inauguration of 140 MLD sewage treatment plants (STP) at Dimapur, the project which is funded by JICA is the first and the largest sewage treatment project to be implemented under the Namami Gange mission. The additional 50 MLD STPs being constructed in Ramana will help cut the burden and take up the existing sewage treatment capacity to 412 MLD which is adequate to meet the sewage treatment demand till 2035.
Ranjan Mishra also stated some measures being taken for reparation of the ghats. "Varanasi again is also very important from the point of view of pilgrims. We have taken up a task of repairing of 26 ghats in Varanasi. We also have an agency regularly cleaning 84 ghats of Varanasi twice in a day. So, that's why the cleanliness and amenities at the ghats have been improved tremendously because that's the place where thousands of people visit every day."