Uma Bharti launches rural sanitation initiatives

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    Ranchi, May 9: Union Minister Uma Bharti on Monday launched nine projects under Namami Gange programme for cleaning and conserving river Ganga in Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district.

    The Namami Gange programme was first announced by the central government in July 2014 and consists primarily of efforts to prevent agricultural runoff and human waste from flowing into Ganga.

    The programme, to be implemented in a number of states, including Jharkhand, was allocated Rs.2,037 crore. “The entire 83 km stretch of Ganga in Jharkhand will be covered under the programme. The projects will focus on making all 78 villages along the river free of open defecation,” said Bharti, the minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.

    She stated that more than 10,000 soak pits will be constructed through community participation to contain and dispose surplus waste water emerging from households and community-managed hand pumps of the villages.

    The government will undertake community-led construction of 1.52 lakh meters of open channel drains in the project villages to ensure “speedy and safe” disposal of domestic waste, she said.

    The projects will also promote appropriate technologies to ensure improved access, sustained use and maintenance of infrastructure for managing solid and liquid waste, she said.

    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.

    She 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.

    Bharti said 5,460 households will be supported for adoption of composting facilities for productive use of animal and agro-waste and 1,860 will be supported for adoption of biogas plants to facilitate safe disposal of animal waste.

    The entire project will be carried out under the Ministry’s guidance with support from United National Development Programme (UNDP), community organisations and NGOs, Bharti added.

    Also, eight village level crematoriums and 32 bathing ghats will be constructed along with 40 community toilets, she added. Also present on the occasion was Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das

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