To ensure that no untreated sewage flows in Ganga, the government has finalised modalities and awarded work to construct sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the Hindu holy cities of Varanasi and Haridwar, an official statement said on Wednesday.

The two plants will be built on “hybrid annuity” based public private partnership in which the development, operation and maintenance of the STPs will be undertaken by the winning bidder, said the Water Resources Ministry release.

Under the model, 40 per cent of the capital cost quoted would be paid on completion of construction while the remaining 60 per cent will be paid over the life of the project as annuities along with operation and maintenance cost expenses.

The Union Cabinet had given approval to the hybrid annuity-PPP model in January 2016.

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has already awarded the work of construction of STPs in the two cities, the statement said, adding a 50 MLD (million litres per day) plant will be constructed in Varanasi at an estimated cost of Rs 153.16 crore, while two plants of 68 MLD and 14 MLD will be constructed in Haridwar at Jagjeetpur and Sarai respectively.

“One of the most important features of this model is that both the annuity and O&M payments are linked to the performance of the STP. This will ensure continued performance of the assets created due to better accountability, ownership and optimal performance,” it said, adding that the hybrid annuity model has earlier been “successfully adopted” in highway construction.