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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

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.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Agricultural reform? Small farmers will be more vulnerable, corporates to 'fix' price

By Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
Agriculture employs 42% of the total work force whereas it contributes only 16% to the country’s GDP. The average annual growth rate in agriculture has remained static to 2.9% since the last six years. This means that the post-green revolution conventional agriculture has reached its peak. Responsiveness of soil fertility to fertiliser application, an indicator of stagnancy in agriculture, shows declining trend since 1970. The worst sufferer has been the small and marginal farmers who constitute 86% of total farmers.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.