Namami Gange adds 3,108 MLD sewage treatment capacity

The initiative has significantly improved water quality and biodiversity in the Ganga, with a substantial increase in STP capacity since 2014

New Delhi: The Namami Gange Mission, launched in 2014 to rejuvenate the Ganga River, is set to achieve a significant milestone with the completion of Phase II, adding 3,108 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage treatment capacity. This addition brings the total capacity to 6,218 MLD, a substantial increase from the 1,221 MLD in 2014.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) reports that recent assessments by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) show marked improvements in the river’s water quality. Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels now meet primary bathing water quality standards, and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels are within acceptable limits in most areas. Since 2014, interventions have significantly improved DO, BOD, and Faecal Coliform (FC) levels.
Dr. Vinod Tare, a professor at IIT Kanpur and founder of the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga), stated, “All the technologies adopted for sewage treatment under the Namami Gange programme are capable of treating faecal coliforms to the prescribed standards. Enhanced water quality and sewerage infrastructure improvements by the National Mission for Clean Ganga have contributed to the restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem in the river, with notable increases in the populations of Gangetic dolphins, otters, and turtles.”
The NMCG has incorporated stringent parameters into the design of sewage treatment plants (STPs) to combat pollution. This includes targeted interventions for effluents from tanneries and textile industries. A notable achievement is the establishment of a 20 MLD Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in Kanpur, the largest for the tannery sector in India. Rigorous inspections have improved compliance with environmental regulations.
STP infrastructure is designed to meet current and future demands over the next 15 to 30 years. In Varanasi, STP capacity has increased from 100 MLD in 2014 to 455 MLD, with an additional 55 MLD STP under construction. This future-proof approach ensures that India’s sewage treatment infrastructure can handle projected population growth and environmental demands.
With 465 projects approved at a cost of Rs. 38,696 crores, Namami Gange has made substantial progress in addressing environmental and infrastructure challenges. Namami Gange has become a global model for river rejuvenation through advanced sewage treatment technologies, stringent industrial regulations, and extensive infrastructure development. Over the past decade, the program has shown tremendous results, impacting small rivers, tributaries, and the main stem of the Ganga.