VARANASI, November 17: India and Japan have come together to enhance the living environment in Varanasi and other neighboring cities along Ganga river through improved sanitation system.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Urban Development, Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and Varanasi Nagar Nigam organised a seminar on enhancement of living environment in Varanasi through improved sanitation system.
The seminar included sessions on Ganga river conservation program with JICA, Japanese river purification technologies and waste management policies by Kyoto City.
The seminar was organised as part of a preparatory survey by JICA for further cooperation between India and Japan in the endeavor to improve the living environment in Varanasi and other neighboring cities along Ganga river.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Japan last year, had announced signing of a letter of intent between Varanasi and Kyoto for cooperation as partner cities.
Speaking on the occasion, Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India said, "The knowledge exchange at the seminar will contribute to more sustainable sewerage system, solid waste management and other urban development issues at Varanasi.
"Japan's experiences such as in river purification and community based solid waste management will improve the living environment in Varanasi, and will contribute to achieving the objectives of Ganga Rejuvenation," he said.
JICA has extended around Rs 580 crore for the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) project for improvement of water quality of Ganga river at Varanasi and improving the living environment for city residents, pilgrims and tourists.
Under the GAP project, construction of sewers, pumping stations and sewage treatment plants; and community toilets for underprivileged households are being built in Varanasi.
Other projects supported by JICA include Yamuna Action Plan, abatement of pollution in Hussain Sagar Lake at Hyderabad through sewerage system development as well as sewerage system development at Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Guwahati.
Over 1. 5 crore people is expected to benefit through improved habitat enabled by these projects.