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IANS

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is looking at selling 2,500 metric tonnes of sludge from the sewage treatment plants (STPs) along the the river as part of the Arth Ganga, which will also improve livelihood opportunities.

By June 2022, the NMCG is expecting 32 STPs worth Rs 5,343 crore to be completed. With 73 projects completed till December 2021, it would take the number of STPs to 101 with the total capacity of 1,927.7 million litres per day (MLD).

"When these are functional, we are expecting 2,500 metric tonnes of sludge to be generated from these STPs," said NMCG Director General, G. Ashok Kumar.

The NMCG has embarked on monetising such material, as part of which it has already announced to sell wastewater from the STPs and now, also looking at sludge. Going a step ahead, the NMCG is also looking at improving livelihood opportunities through it.

Considering that it will face disposal of sludge from the STPs, the NMCG has planned conversion of sludge into usable products such as manure, pavers, and bricks. "We are looking at training youth from the areas near the STPs that can utilise this sludge and turn it into usable products and earn livelihood from it," Ashok Kumar told IANS.

The NMCG has had talks with Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) for coming up with technology to turn sludge into usable products, he said.

As part of the Arth Ganga, the NMCG has earlier announced selling of wastewater to power plants along the Ganga and also to Mathura oil refinery. Prior to it, it has also announced plans to come up with 'Ghat par Haat' (markets at the ghats) to enable marketing of organic products grown along the Ganga.

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