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Fortified Ganga Sludge To Be Used as An Alternative For Chemical Fertilisers

Centre is planning to utilize Ganga sludge as a substitute for chemical fertilizer which will further boost organic farming.

Shivani Meena
Ganga Sludge has similar properties to that of fertilizer
Ganga Sludge has similar properties to that of fertilizer

According to a senior government official, the government intends to fortify Ganga river sludge for use as fertilizer to boost organic farming and avoid chemicals from entering waterways.

Treated water, rich in phosphorus and nutrients, is beneficial to crop growth, and numerous rounds of conversations on how to handle Ganga sludge have taken place in the previous two weeks, according to National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) Director-General Asok Kumar.

Efforts are being made, he adds, to make fortified sludge and distribute it to farmers at subsidized rates.

"We discovered that treated sludge can have properties similar to fertilizer. So, with a little fortification, it (sludge) may be as useful as a fertilizer and will aid in organic farming "Kumar stated to PTI.

Two Objectives Behind Using Ganga Sludge

He says that this will achieve two goals: first, farmers will employ natural fertilizers, and second, the problem of sludge piling will be solved.

"If I can make a fair deal with the farmers, they might prefer it as well. We may also incentivize farmers to participate in this agreement. We are in discussions with firms about producing high-quality fortified fertilizers from sludge "He stated.

He also stated that it will prevent chemicals from entering waterways and causing pollution. Chemical fertilizers contain phosphates and nitrates, which are the primary causes of water contamination, according to him.

Another major issue, according to Kumar, is cow dung entering waterways, and he advises farmers to utilize it in crops.

"If I can also convince the farmers to utilize gobar (cow manure), which is a huge issue in the Ganga basin due to the enormous bovine population. If we can practice natural farming, we may utilize this cow dung as manure, preventing E.coli from entering the river "Kumar said.

Kumar stated that the NMCG's current focus is on 'Arth Ganga,' which attempts to connect people with the river and create an economic connection between them for survival. "We've been working hard on Arth Ganga for the last two months to build that economic connection," he added.

The government launched the NMCG, or 'Namami Gange,' in 2015 as an umbrella program with an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore, intending to integrate previous and existing programs, as well as future efforts planned for cleaning the Ganga. A total of 347 projects were approved under the program, with a total expenditure of Rs 30,255 crore.

The initiatives include both infrastructure and non-infrastructure development aimed at revitalizing the Ganga.

Development of sewerage infrastructure, industrial effluent treatment facilities, rural sanitation, and river surface cleaning are among the initiatives closely connected to the cleaning process.

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