The World Bank announced on Tuesday, 7 July, that it had signed an agreement with the Government of India to increase its support for the Centre’s project to rejuvenate the Ganga river.
The agreement, comprising a USD 381 million loan and a guarantee of up to USD 19 million, through the organisation’s ‘Second National Ganga River Basin Project’, which is meant to “stem pollution in the iconic river and strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.”
The World Bank has supported Indian government efforts to clean up the Ganga since 2011, via its original ‘National Ganga River Basin Project’. The original project, which is still running, helped set up the National Mission for Clean Ganga, and helped build sewage collection and treatment infrastructure in 20 towns along the Ganga.
Junaid Ahmad, the World Bank’s Country Director for India, said that the new project is expected to scale up the sewage infrastructure projects along the Ganga river to its tributaries as well.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, said that:
"“The continuity provided by the Second National Ganga River Basin Project will consolidate the momentum achieved under the first World Bank project, and help NMCG introduce further innovations, and benchmark its initiatives against global best practices in river rejuvenation.”"
Speaking after signing the agreement for the USD 381 million loan on behalf of India, Sameer Kumar Khare, additional secretary, Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, said:
"“The 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 program to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river.”" . Read more on India by The Quint.Sunday View: The Best Weekend Opinion Reads, Curated Just For YouRSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand Deaths . Read more on India by The Quint.