Skip to main content

World Bank finds Ganga rejuvenation "substantially" risky; previously it was "moderately" unsatisfactory

By Our Representative
The World Bank in its latest assessment has found the Ganga rejuvenation project “unsatisfactory and risky”, underlining, the risk today is “substantial”. Noting this, a two-series report on Ganga says, this is a clear departure from its earlier assessment in the report “Implementation Status and Result Report” of May 2018 when it found the project’s implementation “moderately unsatisfactory”.
According to the report, “The Bank was majorly concerned about the disbursement of the project funds”, as the progress on this count was just “13.15% of the projected disbursement of USD 1,000 million, particularly 0.3% (USD 2 million) of IBRD component of USD 801 million seven years since the project approval.”
Authored by well-known environmentalist Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), the report says, while the project is supposed to close in December 2019, the World Bank – always known to be “flexible” to the needs of governments – is now discussing “various options for restructuring the project.”
The World Bank “assessment”, says Thakkar, comes close on the heels of performance audit of “Namami Gange” by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India report of 2017, which found serious deficiencies and shortfalls in almost every aspect of the program. “The most shocking revelation meant that the programme has no long-term road map”.
CAG said, “National Mission for Clean Ganga could not finalise the long-term action plans evenafter more than six and half years of signing of agreement with the consortium of Indian Institutes of Technology. As a result, National Mission for Clean Ganga does not have a river basin management plan even after a lapse of more than eight years of National Ganga River Basin Authority notification.”
Even on the issue of “nirmal” or “clean” Ganga, said CAG, it found no evidence of improvement: “During 2016-17, total coliform levels in all the cities of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal was very high; ranging between six to 3,343 times higher than the prescribed levels. Specific parameters for water quality monitoring of the river Ganga have not been prescribed by National Mission for Clean Ganga.”
According to Thakkar, “what ails Ganga” is “a mindset that does not really understand a river and sees it essentially as a water channel that can be endlessly dammed and exploited in the name of development.” This mindset “sees flowing river as a wasteful luxury”, and comes up with “new threats” to the river: “Waterways, dredging, river linking plan, river front development.”
“In Uttarakhand, in the name of Char Dham Yatra, lakhs of trees are being cut, fraudulent ways are used to escape scrutiny, all affecting the river in the name of religious tourism, not even asking who needs that all weather road that looks more like invitation to disaster. Each of them is pushed even without assessing impact of these projects on the river and its health”, he adds.
It is against this backdrop, says Thakkar, that the Government of India has come up with a “new draft law on Ganga”; aimed at the “Parliamentary elections due, this seems like a new toy to show the people that the government is doing ‘something’ about Ganga.”
He adds, “The government seems to suggest that please forget about all the earlier statements, failures, projects that further adversely affected Ganga and promises about Ganga. Now this new act will take care of it all.”

Comments

rahul said…
If someone based an Internet meme on you, it would have impeccable grammar. Never such an impressive informative blog. Keep up the good work wil look forward for more. Char dham yatra Char dham
Shivam said…
Travelling industry is going to boom up now . We are about to witness a new phase of tourism . we must get in to our culture expension . The ganga should be cleaned and presented to the world

TRENDING

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release of 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).