The World Bank approves $400 Million to clean up Ganga water.
To protect the Ganga which is considered as holy river in India from all the domestic wastes and pollution, The World Bank and the Government of India today signed a loan agreement which will help stem pollution in the iconic river and strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.
The $400 million operation comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million. The agreement for the $381 million loan was signed today by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr Qaiser Khan, Acting Country Director (India), on behalf of the World Bank. The Guarantee instrument will be processed separately.
Shri Khare said, “Ganga is India’s most important cultural, economic and environmental resource, and the government’s Namami Gange program seeks to ensure that the river returns to a pollution-free, ecologically healthy state. The new project will extend the Government of India and World Bank’s engagement in this critical national programme to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river”.
|Ongoing National Ganga River Basin Project
“The government’s Namami Gange Program has revitalized India’s efforts to rejuvenating the Ganga,” Mr Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. He further added “The first World Bank project helped build critical sewage infrastructure in 20 pollution hotspots along the river, and this Project will help scale this up to the tributaries. It will also help government strengthen the institutions needed to manage a river basin as large and complex as the Ganga Basin.”
The holy river is dumped with millions of litres of waste water, domestic wastes, Industrial wastes thereby depleting the level of dissolved oxygen content which in order is effecting the marine life.
The sprawling Ganga Basin provides over one-third of India’s surface water, includes the country’s largest irrigated area, and is key to India’s water and food security. Over 40 percent of India’s GDP is generated in the densely populated Basin. But the Ganga river is today is facing pressures from human and economic activity that impact its water quality and flows.
The World Bank has been supporting the Government efforts in making Ganga a pollution free basin through National Ganga River Basin Project.
The SNGRBP will finance sewage networks and treatment plants in select urban areas to help control pollution discharges. These infrastructure investments and the jobs they will generate will also help India’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.
On 30th April, 2020 under ENCORE (Enhancing Coastal and Ocean Resource Efficiency) program the World Bank approved $400 Million for the country’s fight against water pollution.