Union Urban Development Minister, Venkaiah Naidu and Water Resources Minister, Uma Bharti jointly launched ‘Smart Ganga City’ programme in 10 cities located along Ganga to set up Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and improve drainage network there. The plan will be implemented on hybrid annuity mode under public private partnership basis. The ministers launched the works through video conferencing and were joined in by District Magistrates/Mayors of cities/towns. Ms. Bharti also stated the government plans to form District-Level Mentoring committees in Ganga basin states – on the lines of High-Level Task Force chaired by Cabinet Secretary – to keep an eye on programme implementation. In the hybrid annuity model, a part of capital investment (up to 40 percent) will be paid by government through construction linked milestones and the balance amount through an annuity over the contract duration up to 20 years to ensure longevity. She said her Ministry will sign MoUs with other Central Ministries to see recycled water from the STPs is bought for their use. She also said the Government will expand the Smart Ganga City programme to other cities including Agra in time to come. The Minister stated the government will keep in mind local biodiversity and culture while doing river front development works.