India and the World Bank Tuesday signed a loan agreement worth $400 million to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme, which seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga. The project is aimed at stemming river pollution and strengthening management of the river basin, which is home to more than 50 crore people.
The $400 million funding support comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed guarantee of up to $19 million, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The $381 million loan has a maturity of 18.5 years, including a grace period of five years.
The World Bank is supporting the National Ganga River Basin Project, which helped set up the National Mission for Clean Ganga as the nodal agency to manage the river, and finance sewage treatment infrastructure in several riverside towns and cities.
“The first World Bank project helped build critical sewage infrastructure in 20 pollution hotspots along the river, and this project will help scale this up to the tributaries. It will also help government strengthen the institutions needed to manage a river basin as large and complex as the Ganga Basin,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.
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