07 Jul 2020, 06:38 pm By Arpita Pandey
World Bank Loans $400 million to India for Ganga rejuvenation

The World Bank and Indian government, on Tuesday, signed a $400 million loan agreement to enhance support for the ‘Namami Gange’ program that seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga river. The $400 million operations comprise a loan of $381 million and a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million.

The $381 million variable spread loan has a maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of 5 years. The $19 million Guarantee Expiry Date will be 18 years from the Guarantee Effectiveness Date.

The agreement was signed by the Additional Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the Government of India and the Acting Country Director (India), Mr. Qaiser Khan, on behalf of the World Bank. The Guarantee instrument will be processed separately.

Mr. Khare said that 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 the World Bank’s engagement in this critical national program to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river.

Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India was quoted saying- “The government’s Namami Gange Program has revitalized India’s efforts to rejuvenating the Ganga,”. “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 the government strengthen the institutions needed to manage a river basin as large and complex as the Ganga Basin.”

The Second National Ganga River Basin Project 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.

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