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World Bank sanctions USD 400 mn for rejuvenating Ganga

World Bank releases a statement mentioning that the assistance will help in strengthening the management of the river basin which is home to some 500 million people.

Jul 2, 2020 18:32 IST
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World Bank announced on June 29 that it has extended its support for the Government of India’s program to rejuvenate the Ganga river with USD 400 million (about Rs. 300 Crore). As per the bank, the assistance will help them stem pollution in the river.

World Bank releases a statement mentioning that the assistance will help in strengthening the management of the river basin which is home to some 500 million people.

The bank has been helping the government’s efforts for the project since 2011 through the ongoing National Ganga River Basin Project. It helped in setting up the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as the nodal agency to manage the river.

Key Highlights:

•   The Second National Ganga River Basin Project has been approved by the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank on June 25, 2020.

•   The project will support the government’s Namami Ganga Program and its long- term vision of pollution control in the river as well as restoring the water quality.

•   The project to rejuvenate the Ganga river comprises a loan of USD 381 million and a proposed guarantee in the amount of up to USD 19 million.

•   The loan has a maturity of 18.5 years which includes 5 years of the grace period.

World bank supports rejuvenation of Ganga:

Junaid Ahmed, World Bank Country Director (India) mentioned that the first World Bank project helped in building the critical sewage infrastructure in 20 pollution hotspots along the river and this second project will help in scaling this up to the tributaries.

He added that the project will also help the government in strengthening the institutions that are needed to manage a river basin as complex and large as the Ganga basin. World Bank has also financed a sewage treatment infrastructure in several riverside cities and towns.

As per the statement released by World Bank, the Ganga Basin covers a quarter of India’s landmass. It is a critical environmental and economic resource for the country.

The river provides over one-third of India’s surface water which includes the country’s largest irrigated area which makes it essential to India’s water and food security.

According to the World Bank’s statement, over 40% of India’s GDP is generated in the densely populated basin. But river Ganga is today facing pressures from economic and human activities that impact its water flow and qualities.

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