World Bank Assistance to National Ganga River Basin Authority for abatement of pollution of River Ganga
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Project for cleaning of River Ganga to be implemented by the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 7000 crore. The share of Government of India will be Rs 5100 crore and that of the State Governments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal will be Rs 1900 crore. The World Bank has agreed in-principle to provide a loan assistance of US $ 1 billion (approx. Rs 4600 crore) to the Government of India for the NGRBA project, which will form part of the central share of the project. The duration of the project will be eight years.
NGRBA was constituted in February, 2009 as an empowered planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the Ganga River under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The objective of the Authority, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, is to ensure conservation of the river Ganga and to maintain environmental flows by comprehensive planning and management, adopting a river basin approach.
The project is envisaged as the first phase in a long-term programme of World Bank support to NGRBA. The project will support NGRBA's objective of Mission Clean Ganga. The project has been designed keeping in view the lessons learnt from the previous Ganga Action Plan and International River clean-ups. The project will have three components relating to (a) institutional development for setting up dedicated institutions for implementing the NGRBA program, setting up Ganga Knowledge Centre, strengthening environmental regulators (Pollution Control Boards) and local institutions (ULBs, etc) (b) infrastructure investments including for municipal sewage, industrial pollution, solid wastes and river front management, and (c) project implementation support.