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India seeks German support for Ganga rejuvenation

New Delhi, Jan 28
Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati Wednesday called for Indo-German cooperation in rejuvenation of the Ganga river.

"Work has to be done with regard to access and analysis of the feasibility and prospects for and Indo-German cooperation for Ganga rejuvenation," Bharati said at a meeting with a German delegation here.

Germany's Environment and Nature Conservation Minister Barbara Hendricks was leading the delegation.

During the meeting, Bharati identified several potential areas for cooperation on the lines of Indo-German Energy forum.

Support was sought for river basin planning, researches, technical cooperation on selected issues like river rejuvenation strategies, setting up of realistic time frame, basin wide monitoring and evaluation, according to a statement.

There could also be financial cooperation on selected issues as innovative financing models for industrial and urban pollution, assistance to manage funds, selected public and or private investment funds, the statement added.

The German delegation said they are willing to assist in Ganga rejuvenation in view of their success in the rejuvenation of Rhine and Denube rivers.

During Indo-German negotiations, Germany committed 3 million euros to support Ganga rejuvenation, it said.
To check pollution in the Ganga river, the central government plans to create a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for setting up and maintaining sewage treatment plants (STPs) in 118 cities and towns located by the river.

The urban development ministry has proposed to set up an SPV which will ensure that the demand-supply gap with respect to sewage treatment in urban areas will be met in line with the time-frame for cleaning the river.

The proposal was made at a review meeting on Namami Ganga Wednesday by Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti.

The Supreme Court recently pulled up the central government for not doing enough to clean the over 2,000-km-long river.