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WB Earmarks US$1 Bln for Ganga Clean-up Efforts

Xinhua News Agency, June 1, 2011 Adjust font size:

The World Bank announced Tuesday that it had approved US$1 billion credit and loan as part of its long-term support for Indian government's Mission Clean Ganga to clean up India's iconic river.

The Ganga accounts for one fourth of the nation's water resources and its basin is home to more than 400 million Indians. Despite its importance status and religious heritage, the Ganga today is facing extreme pollution pressures and threats to its biodiversity and environmental sustainability,the bank said in a statement.

Only about one third of the sewage generated by the towns and cities on the part of the river is treated, while a significant volume of untreated or poorly treated industrial effluents are also discharged into the river, noted the statement.

"The World Bank is honored to be able to support the government in its efforts to revitalize this holy and mighty river of India," said Roberto Zagha, World Bank's Country Director for India.

The government of India established the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in February 2009, in a bid to clean and conserve the Ganga, said the bank.

"The government of India is clearly committed to this, has a robust plan of action and is dedicating the required resources for this national effort. I am confident that with sustained public and political support for the NGRBA Program, significant progress towards cleaning the Ganga will be achieved,"Zagha added.

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