Bacterial contamination level in the Ganga has exceeded the maximum permissible limit at many locations and the water quality of the Yamuna too has not shown any desired improvement, the Rajya Sabha was told today.
Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jayanthi Natarajan said in a written reply that detailed guideline has been prepared by the Ministry for comprehensive pollution abatement projects for rivers and lakes.
"The levels of bacterial contamination in terms of fecal coliform are reported to be exceeding the maximum permissible limit at a number of locations...water quality of river Yamuna has not shown the desired improvement owing to large gap in demand and availability of sewage treatment capacity and lack of fresh water in the river," she said.
The Minister was asked whether the government is aware of the failure of the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) and Yamuna Action Plan (YAP).
GAP is being implemented since 1985 for undertaking pollution abatement works at identified stretches of river Ganga through implementation of works like interception and diversion of sewage, setting up of treatment plants, low cost sanitation works and cremations.
Natarajan said total sewage treatment capacity of 1091 million litres per day (mld) have been created under the GAP.
She said the water quality in terms of bio-chemical oxygen demand is reported to have improved in the river as compared to pre-GAP period at major locations.
The YAP was started in 1993 to provide financial assistance to Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. 40 sewage treatment plants with a total capacity of 902.25 mld have been completed in 21 towns for cleaning of Yamuna river.
"The YAP phase-II for Delhi has been approved in December 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs1656 crore with loan assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency," she said.
For taking up pollution abatement activities in Haryana two more projects have been sanctioned by the government at an estimated cost of Rs217.87 crore.
In reply to a separate question, Natarajan said, " A National River Conservation Plan is also under implementation in the Ministry which is undertaking works in 190 towns along polluted stretches of 39 rivers spread over 20 states." To a query on the outcome of Doha Climate Change Conference 2012, she said India successfully defended the nature of its voluntary domestic goal of reducing emission intensity of its GDP by 20-25% by 2020.