A whopping Rs 282.17 crore has been spent on cleaning the Sabarmati river in Gujarat in the past three years, stated Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, in Rajya Sabha.
Works worth almost 64 per cent, or Rs 179.4 crore, of the total expenditure have already been completed, stated the government in a written response to a question asked by Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil.
Later, Gohil alleged corruption saying the Sabarmati river continued to remain polluted and the Ahmedabad city flooded, despite the money spent. “The expenses shown on paper and the reality are completely contradictory. If the money had been spent, then the river would have been clean by now and the flooding that Ahmedabad sees during monsoon would not have happened,” Gohil stated, adding that the Gujarat High Court has suo moto taken up the matter of pollution in Sabarmati recently.
“It has come to light that industrialists release untreated water into the Sabarmati river and similarly, sewage from the city also reaches the river,” he added.
Of the completed works on Sabarmati River, the biggest is the construction of a 155 MLD (million litres per day) Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Pirana worth Rs 151 crore. The money for the project under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) was shared by the Centre and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in a 60:40 ratio.
Another STP having a capacity of 25 MLD was also completed near Sankarbhuvan, Shahpur worth Rs 27.5 crore. This project under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation was funded by the Central and state governments and AMC. A third project of fixing gates of the stormwater outlet at Dafnala Behrampura and Hansol has also been completed.
Among the works that are under progress include cleaning of “floating and green waste” from Sabarmati river where AMC has already spent Rs 4.81 crore in the past three years. The other projects where work is still incomplete includes a 60 MLD STP near Kotarpur worth an estimated Rs 103 crore and a 30-MLD Common Effluent Treatment Plant in Danilimda, worth Rs 112.75 crore.