Srinagar- In what is seen as a major effort by the Government to restore Doodh Ganga (a major tributary of river Jhelum) to its pristine glory, the government has sanctioned Rs 149 crores for building STP around Doodh Ganga.
The setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants STP is part of the comprehensive action plan to prevent direct discharge of untreated sewage into the Doodh Ganga tributary.
The salient features of the project include “Technology intervention for Discharging DWF into Doodh Ganga Nallah from Chadoora, Budgam to Tengpora, Srinagar”.
The project has been divided into two parts. The estimated cost of setting up STP from Chadura to Baghe Mehtab is Rs 84.34 crores. Similarly, the estimated project cost from Baghe Mehtab to Tengpora is Rs. 59.14 crores which amounts to Rs 149 crores.
The government response comes in view of the petition filed by Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat Chairman of RTI Movement to SHRC.
In the petition Bhat, the petitioner had alleged hundreds of lavatories go in the Doodh Ganga Nallah near Chadoora area of Budgam District and PHE supplies the same water from its water filtration plant located in the city outskirts.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) took a serious view on the petition and had constituted a 5 member committee to identify the factors contributing to its pollution and submit a factual report regarding the measure being taken for the cleanliness of the tributary.
In the petition, it was alleged that extensive pollution of the Doodh Ganga River in Kashmir was caused by government agencies over the last several years and the government had failed to acknowledge and address the issue.
Doodh Ganga, which literally means a river of milk, originates from the glaciers of Pir Panjal Mountains between the Budgam and Poonch districts.
More than five hundred thousand people get their drinking water supply from the river, over the decades the water body has been turned into a drain as people put both solid and liquid waste into the tributary.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is accused of pumping all its liquid waste, which includes hazardous waste and human excreta, into it without any treatment.
Sources revealed that SMC has been constructing around 50 Intermediary Pump Stations (IPS) in Srinagar city to prevent flooding in low lying areas. Four pump stations are being upgraded by the SMC’s city drainage division at the Natipora, Barzulla, Bul Bul Bagh and Magray Pora localities of uptown Srinagar. The work is going on at full pace.
The petitioner Bhat voiced his excitement over the construction of STP by the government.
“It is encouraging to know that the Govt is planning to spend around Rs 149 Crore for treatment of waste water that goes into Doodh Ganga from Chadoora to Tengpora downstream. I am grateful to Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department Dheeraj Gupta for his personal intervention” Bhat said.
“I hope the best technology will be used for setting up of the STP” said Dr Raja Muzaffar, social activist and Petitioner in the case.
It is pertinent to mention, earlier this year, National Green Tribunal (NGT) had slashed a penalty of Rs 3 crore on some officers of the government and polluters for not taking steps to control pollution and illegal mining in Doodh Ganga and Mamath Kul.
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