GERMAN LOAN TO CLEAN GANGA:
Last week, an RTI reply had stated that the level of pollution in Ganga in Varanasi has increased compared to what was the level of pollution recorded before 2014 – the year government had launched ambitious “Namami Gange” project to clean the river.
According to the RTI reply, the government had allocated Rs 20,000 crore to be spent in the next five years.
Till date, it said that a total of 221 projects have been sanctioned for various activities at a cost of Rs 22,238 crore out of which only 58 projects have been completed.
In 2015, Germany had pledged India an interest subsidised loan of up to euro 120 million through German Development Bank (KfW) to finance the construction of sewerage network and treatment plants.
German government has their own experience in cleaning the River Rhine – it took them 30 years and 45 billion euros to clean it.
The river Ganga is twice the length of river Rhine and therefore, it is a tough task for the government to clean it in a very short span of time.
Berlin will focus on extension and replacement of sewerage system including complete house connection, construction of sewage treatment plants of around 15 million litres per day.
Also, the initiative includes construction of 13 sewage pumping stations.
“The purpose of the project is to reduce the inflow of untreated waste water in River Ganga and, thus, to improve the water quality of the river,”
German development agency GIZ has prepared a ‘Ganga Box’ on the line of ‘Danube Book’.
It will have all mythological, social-cultural and economic importance information related to the river. Also, it will contain suggestions to avoid polluting the river and distributed to people to make them aware of the importance of the river.