Cabinet okays PPP model for wastewater sector under Namami Gange plan

A new entity will be set up in the coming days to explore and develop new markets for treated wastewater as part of the ambitious Namami Gange Programme which seeks to integrate efforts to clean and protect river Ganga.

The Union Cabinet approved a proposal for taking up hybrid annuity-based public-private partnership (PPP) model under Namami Gange Programme to reform the wastewater sector in India.

“Keeping in view the specialised nature of this model and to scale it up in future on sustainable basis, the government is establishing a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to plan, structure, procure concessionaires, monitor implementation of such PPP projects and develop market for treated waste water through appropriate policy advocacy under overall guidance of National Mission for Clean Ganga,” an official statement said after the Cabinet meeting.

The proposed SPV will be established under Companies Act, 2013 for providing required governance framework and enabling functional autonomy.

It would enter into a tripartite memorandum of agreement (MoA) with participating state governments and concerned urban local bodies for taking up individual projects.

These MoAs will aim at introducing reforms and regulatory measures for recovery of user charges on ‘polluters pay’ principle, restrictions on usage of ground and fresh water for non-potable purposes through stricter monitoring and guidelines that promote reuse of treated wastewater.

The Water Resources Ministry, in a first of its kind, has already entered into an MoU with Railways for purchase of treated water from sewage treatment plants wherever feasible. Similar MoUs are also being worked out with Power, Petroleum and Industries ministries, the statement said.

“This is a futuristic step taken by the government where the market development for treated waste water and structural reforms are complementing the projects. This will help taking up more number of projects with the same allocation as made available under Namami Gange programme with reduced financial liability in the initial years,” the statement read.

Source: The Economic Times