India, Germany sign agreement on Namami Gange
New Delhi, Apr. 13: An implementation agreement for Ganga Rejuvenation under the Namami Gange Programme was signed here today between India and Germany. The objective of the agreement is to enable responsible stakeholders at National and State level to apply integrated river basin management approach for the rejuvenation of the river Ganga. This will be based on Indo-German Knowledge exchange and practical experience on strategic river basin management issues, effective data management system and public engagement. The project will closely cooperate with other National and international initiatives including Indo-German bilateral projects like Support to National Urban Sanitation Policy (SNUSP) and ‘Sustainable Environment-friendly Industrial Production’ (SEIP). The project duration is three years i.e. from 2016 to 2018 and the German contribution in the project will be to the tune of Rs. 22.5 crore. Initial actions will focus on the State of Uttarakhand, with scope of expansion to other upstream Ganga States. The ultimate goal is to adopt the successful river basin management strategies used for Rhine and Danube and replicate the same, wherever possible for attaining the pristine status of river Ganga. The agreement was signed in the presence of the German Ambassador to India, Dr. Martin Ney and Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shashi Shekhar. Speaking on the occasion,the German Ambassador said that his country understands the devotion and cultural importance of river Ganga and will do its best to bring back mother Ganga to its pristine glory. Thanking the Government of Germany Shekhar said the technical support from Germany will be immensely fruitful in pollution abatement of river Ganga. “Now onwards we will move at a much faster pace for cleaning of river Ganga,” he said. ‘Namami Gange’ Programme, is a flagship programme of Government of India with a renewed impetus to decrease river pollution and conserve the revered river ‘Ganga’. In this connection, the Indian Government solicited support from various countries to rejuvenate the Ganga. Germany, with its vast experiences in cleaning and rejuvenating European rivers such as Rhine, Elbe and Danube, was keen to join hands for collaboration with India.