Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti launched nine projects for rural sanitation initiatives under Namami Gange Programme for conservation of river Ganga in Sahibganj, Jharkhand today. Speaking on the occasion the Minister said the entire 83 Km. stretch of Ganga in Jharkhand will be covered under this programme. She said the project will focus on three significant interventions; Promotion of safe, individual hygiene practices to ensure open defecation free status of all 78 villages along the river Ganga, Promotion of cost-effective, appropriate local, low cost, easy to manage technologies using local resources to ensure improved access, sustained use and maintenance of infrastructure created for effective management of solid and liquid waste and strengthening of local institutions including panchayats, village level sanitation committees and self-help groups to effectively manage, enhance and maintain facilities established for improved sanitation in the villages and an integrated and a holistic livelihood approach.
The Minister said the main aim of the projects is to improve the health and quality of life of around 45,000 households located in these 78 villages of the Ganga River basin in Jharkhand through improved sanitation practices, while also improving the quality of waste water and storm water runoff flowing from the villages into the river Ganga. Bharti said 78 units will be established in project villages for collection, storage and composting of degradable solid waste and for setting up small enterprises for non-biodegradable material. She informed that 5,460 households will be supported for adoption of composting facilities using vermin composting for productive use of animal and agro-waste and 1,860 households will be supported for adoption of biogas plants to facilitate safe disposal of animal waste. The Minister said that eight village level crematoriums and 32 bathing Ghats will be constructed along with 40 community toilets. She said that more than 10,000 soak pits will be constructed through community participation to safely contain and dispose surplus and waste water emerging from households and community managed hand pumps. The Minister informed that community-led construction of 152,000 meters of open channel drains in project villages to ensure speedy and safe disposal of domestic waste and storm water runoff and construction and refurbishment of 92 community ponds to enable bio-treatment and safe disposal of domestic waste and storm water runoff will also be taken up.
The entire project will be carried out under the overall guidance of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation with the support from UNDP, community organizations and NGOs. Project initiatives will contribute to improved, sustainable solid and liquid waste management in the identified villages and will reduce contamination in the Ganga from rural sources including agriculture. UNDP will provide technical and implementation support.