16 August 2016 Current Affairs: The Union Government has launched the first phase of Smart Ganga City programme in 10 cities located along River Ganga. The first phase of programme was jointly launched by the Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti.
10 Cities/Towns are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Sahibganj and Barrackpore. Under this programme, Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and improve drainage network will be set up on hybrid annuity mode on public private partnership basis.
In the hybrid annuity model, a part of capital investment (up to 40%) will be paid by Union Government through construction linked milestones.
The balance amount will come through an annuity over the contract duration up to 20 years to ensure operational longevity of STPs.