Kanpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (December 14) chaired the first meeting of National Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga Council (National Ganga Council) at Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology in Kanpur.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi, among others, were present in the meeting.

The Prime Minister will also review the progress of work done and deliberate on aspects of cleaning the Ganga.

Kanpur has a population of more than three million spread over an area of 260 sq km. Though it has required treatment capacity, but poor planning, lack of coordination among different departments, old damaged sewage conveyance infrastructure and lack of technical capabilities was resulting in inadequate treatment of only about 150 - 175 MLD of sewage and remaining untreated sewage was discharged to river Ganga through number of overflowing drains, including 140 MLD sewage flow from infamous Sisamau Nala.

The pollution of river Ganga was compounded with the unregulated industrial discharges from around 400 leather tanning industries and inefficient and inadequate Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

The entire sewerage and industrial waste management infrastructure was critically reviewed under Namami Gange Programme and ten projects at an estimated cost of Rs 2,315 crore have been taken up.

These include diversion of Sisamau Nala at the cost of Rs 63.8 crore. The nala having 140 MLD flow diverted for treatment at Bingawan (80 mld) and Jajmau (60 mld). Also, it includes 400 km sewerage network in sewerage district I of Kanpur with 10 years operation and maintenance at an estimated cost of Rs. 430.49 crore.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has taken up construction/modernisation of Ghats and Crematoriums including provision for public amenities for the towns on the bank of river Ganga.

To improve cleanliness, silt removal and proper upkeep and maintenance of ghats, NMCG has sanctioned a project for regular cleaning of all the 39 ghats at Bithoor and Kanpur at an estimated cost of Rs 6.07 crore.