Three wastewater-treatment plants in the northern city of Varanasi are being planned to help stem the flow of raw sewage into the Ganges, India’s holiest river, water minister Uma Bharti said.
The works in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political constituency, will cost 4.57 billion rupees ($72 million) and quadruple the city’s sewage-treatment capacity, the minister said.
India, where studies show more than half of the world’s second-most populous nation is facing high water stress amid urbanization, farm and industry demand, treats about one-third of the waste it generates.
The plants are part of government plans to order 80 billion rupees of sewage facilities before next June to clean wastewater in 118 towns on the banks of the Ganges, India’s biggest river that flows 2,525 kilometers (1,570 miles) through five states. The federal water ministry will fund the projects. Details of when the contracts will be awarded weren’t disclosed.