Dutch PM inaugurates bilateral Ganga rejuvenation Forum

Netherlands PM Mark Rutte inaugurated the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum to take forward a preliminary agreement signed between India’s Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment in June 2017

May 25, 2018

Ganga river, the third largest in the world in terms of discharge, has been the backbone of economic activities along its 2,500 km shoreline covering northern India and Bangladesh for hundreds of years

Namami Gange aims to set up sewerage infrastructure, industrial effluent monitoring, river surface cleaning, biodiversity conservation, as well as sanitation infrastructure in villages along the shore of the river

The stakeholders are encouraged by the fact that responsible treatment of the river will open up new opportunities in the densely-populated and high-growth region; This has attracted the attention of foreign entities

The Netherlands government also shared the experiences of their collaboration with Uttar Pradesh government to reduce water consumption and employ cleaner technologies in tanneries in Kanpur

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte has inaugurated the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum to take forward a preliminary agreement signed between the nations in June 2017. The arrangement will allow cooperation between India’s Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment. The partnership will focus on India’s Namami Gange Programme – a flagship programme’ of the Indian Government with a budget outlay of US$3 billion to accomplish the objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of national river Ganga. The river, the third largest in the world in terms of discharge, has been the backbone of economic activities along its 2,500 km shoreline covering northern India and Bangladesh for hundreds of years. While agricultural and industrial activities supported by the river brought economic prosperity to the region, the activities have led to mass pollution threatening the health of the river.

Namami Gange aims to set up sewerage infrastructure, industrial effluent monitoring, river surface cleaning, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, river front development as well as sanitation infrastructure in around 1,700 villages along the shore of the river along with the creation of public awareness. The programme has attracted the interest of several foreign governments that are willing to share their expertise in pollution control and conservation. The stakeholders are encouraged by the fact that responsible treatment of the river will open up new opportunities in the densely-populated and high-growth region. While commending India’s achievements in the vast programme so far, Mr Rutte called upon local governments, the private sector as well as communities to join forces with the two nation’s Governments. He also advocated waste-to-wealth approach to encourage sustainability of projects. Herein, the Dutch Minister of Water and Infrastructure, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, expressed the Netherlands’ keenness to contribute to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

There are more than 2,000 aquatic species in river Ganga and around 2 million people bathe in it everyday, hence cleaning the river has been a continuous process. Now the work has been expedited with the help more innovations and stakeholder participations. The inauguration of the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum was followed by a technical session on “Innovative Financing Models for Indo-Dutch PPP Projects” during which a detailed discussion on Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode took place. NMCG shared with the Dutch delegates the efforts made by NMCG to start two projects under Hybrid Annuity mode in Varanasi and Haridwar which was commended by the Netherlands government. On the occasion, NMCG expressed its willingness to adopt proven international experience and technologies in wastewater treatment sector. The subsequent sessions saw discussions on themes “Dutch Approach to Partnership in Public Utilities in India” and “Innovative Dutch Solutions for Urban Water Challenges” and Techniques like Dutch triple-helix model were contemplated for Barapullah drain project as well.

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