New Delhi: The executive committee of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved 10 projects worth 1,573.28 crore, of which more than half the amount has been earmarked for Agra, the city of the iconic Taj Mahal, according to an official statement released on Wednesday.

Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal are the other states where works to prevent polluted waters from reaching the Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries, have been sanctioned.

In a meeting held on Wednesday, it was decided that a comprehensive solution needed to be worked out to address the Yamuna river’s pollution issues in Agra, an official said.

The project for rehabilitation/renovation of Agra Sewerage Scheme (Interception and Diversion Works) has been conceived at a total cost of 857.26 crore.

The major components of the project include tapping of 61 nalas/drains, construction of three sewerage treatment plants (STPs) of a total capacity of 166 MLD, construction of 10 decentralised STPs of 9.38 MLD and renovation of two existing STPs, laying of rising main of 17.61 km, and renovation of sewage pumping station (SPS).

“These projects are expected to drastically reduce pollution load from Agra city into the river Yamuna, helping to save the Taj Mahal and leading to improvement of river water quality, ground water quality and overall aesthetics of the area," an NMCG official said.

Interception & Diversion (I&D) works and an STP at Kasganj costing 76.73 crore were also approved by the executive committee. The project envisages construction of 2 I&D structures, network laying of the length of 2.8 kilometers and 15 MLD capacity STP. The cost of the project includes operation and maintenance for 15 years.

Currently, there is no sewerage system in Kasganj, the waste water is discharged into open drains that finally meet River Kali and contribute to pollution of the river.

Under this project, all drains meeting Kali river, the tributary of River Yamuna and sub-tributary of the Ganga, will be tapped and the waste water shall be carried out through pumping flow to the proposed STP for treatment.

I&D and STP at Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh were approved at a total project cost of 64.76 crore.

Sultanpur is located on the banks of Gomti River and the waste of the town is conveyed through six drains in the town.

“These drains outfall into Gomti River resulting in pollution in the river. It is therefore necessary that the drains are intercepted/diverted, treatment of sewage/sludge and effluent with permissible limits discharged into Gomti River," the statement said.

The committee also approved projects worth 328.52 crore in Chhapra, Fatuha, Bakhtiyarpur and Khagaria in Bihar.

Sewerage scheme for Paonta Town, Himachal Pradesh was approved at a total project cost of 11.57 crore and includes new 1.72 MLD STP, minor repair and filter in existing 0.44 MLD STP (extended aeration) and 1 MLD (extended aeration).

Paonta Town, home to the renowned Paonta Sahib Gurudwara, is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. The river is the boundary between the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed)