NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for better usage of space technology in routine governance had led to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) tying up with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to monitor pollution of the river. Months later, no substantial progress has been made by the Ganga mission, which is without a director, on creation of sewage treatment plants, with ISRO yet to start any work.
TVSN Prasad, the mission director of NMCG, was absolved of duties in August 2015. Since then, the mission has been without a head.
An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and ISRO in June 2015 to utilise the geospatial and crowd-sourcing technologies for monitoring pollution of the river.
In the Ganga basin, approximately 12,000 million litres (mld) sewage is generated a day.
The present treatment capacity can handle only around 4,000 mld. A CPCB report had pointed out that 118 towns across five states collectively generate over 3,636 mld of sewage as against the treatment capacity of 1,027 mld of the existing 55 sewage treatment plants (STPs).
“We cannot start the work until there are STPs and Effluent Treatment Plants, so we are waiting before we can start the pollution and water quality monitoring of the river” said an NRSC scientist.