India inks pact with Germany to clean river Ganga


Clean Ganga mission

The Indian government’s ambitious ‘Clean Ganga’ mission gained momentum as India and Germany signed a pact to clean the river by adopting river basin management strategies used for cleansing rivers like Rhine and Danube. ‘Namami Gange’ is the government’s flagship programme that aims at reducing pollution and conserving the river. The government has solicited support from many countries to rejuvenate Ganga.

The Ministry of Water Resources and German International Cooperation (GIZ), owned by the German Government sealed the pact to clean the river. The agreement was signed by River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation secretary Shashi Shekhar and German Ambassador to India Dr Martin Ney.

“The objective of the agreement is to enable responsible stakeholders at national and state levels to apply integrated river basin management approach for Ganga’s rejuvenation,” a statement released by the ministry said. “Initial actions will focus on Uttarakhand, with scope of expansion to other upstream Ganga States. The ultimate goal is to adopt successful river basin management strategies used for Rhine and Danube and replicate the same, wherever possible for attaining pristine status of river Ganga,” the statement added.

As per the agreement, the two sides would cooperate in the project through the “Indo-German Knowledge Exchange” and practical experience on strategic river basin management issues. Effective data management system and public engagement are also the key areas of focus, according to the agreement.

Thanking the German government for the support, Mr Shekhar said that Germany’s technical know-how will be “immensely fruitful” in pollution abatement of Ganga.