The Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga on 15 March 2017 approved 20 projects worth nearly Rs 1900 crore. Out of 20 projects which were given EC approval in its meeting held on March 02, 2017, 13 are in Uttarakhand that includes creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar at an estimated cost of approximately Rs 415 crore. Haridwar, one of the holiest cities of India, is thronged by millions of people every year. This approved plan is aimed at treating sewage water generated by not only city’s 1.5 lakh local dwellers, but also by people who visit the holy place for various purposes. All these projects will be fully funded by the Central Government, including even the expenditure on operation and maintenance of these projects. Among other projects approved in Uttarakhand are four pertaining to pollution abatement works for river Alakananda to ensure cleaner flow of the river downstream. This includes interception and diversion of drains along with creation of new small STPs at four crucial locations – Joshimath, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Kirti Nagar at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 78 crore. Apart from these, a major pollution abatement project for Ganga at Rishikesh has also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 158 crore. Beginning with Rishikesh, municipal effluent gets mixed in the Ganga and to rid Ganga of impurities just before it hits the plains, this all-encompassing project for this city has been given a go-ahead, which would not only make sure tapping of all city drains in Rishikesh merging into the river but will also treat the sewage water for reuse. The construction of a new 26 MLD STP at Lakkar Ghat with online monitoring system has also been envisaged in this Rishikesh-specific project. In the National Capital, a project to construct new state-of-the-art 564 MLD Okhla sewage treatment plant with best effluent standards has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 665 crore, which will replace the existing STPs phase-I, II, III and IV. Besides, two projects for laying new sewage pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli to prevent leakages have also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 100 crore. Sewage related works in Karmalichak in Patna and Rajmahal in Jharkhand have also been given green signal for a cost of over Rs 335 crore. To address the issue of pollution of Ganga in Varanasi, a city thronged by millions of pilgrims throughout the year, a project under Hybrid-Annuity PPP model worth almost Rs 151 crore has also been given EC approval.