The Government of India and the World Bank will sign an agreement tomorrow for cleaning the Ganga River. The Project has an estimated cost of Rs 7,000 crore. The share of the Government of India will be Rs 5,100 crore and that of the five state governments (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) will be Rs 1,900 crore. The World Bank will support the Government of India by providing technical assistance and finance. The assistance would be in form of a loan of $801 million from IBRD and a credit of $199 million from IDA.
The Ganga basin accounts for nearly one-fourth of the country’s landmass and the basin is home to more than 400 million people. The Ganga faces great challenges from expanding population, urbanization and industrial growth. The National Ganga River Basin Project will be implemented with the assistance of the World Bank. The Project will focus on building and strengthening the NGRBA’s related institutions at the Central and state level; establishing a world-class Ganga Knowledge Centre; enhancing river basin management; and financing select priority investments to reduce point-source pollution in a sustainable manner.
A comprehensive approach will be adopted under which industrial pollution; solid waste management, and riverfront management, essential sewage treatment will also be addressed. Dedicated institutional mechanisms will be established in order to plan, prioritize and manage these investments for the long term.