22 February 2018

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12/04/2009 INDIA

World Bank loan for rehabilitation of the Ganges

The sacred river is one of the most polluted in the world. The problem also extends to its tributaries. Approximately 400 million people live along the river banks. Other rehabilitation programs have come to no end. The pollution produces tumours in the population.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The World Bank will provide India a loan of 1 billion dollars for a proposed clean up of the Ganges. The river, sacred for the Hindu population of India, is one of the most polluted in the world, and flows for about 2500 kilometers collecting the waste of chemical industry products, agricultural pesticides and sewage.

Speaking in New Delhi, the Director of the World Bank Robert Zoellick, said that the cleaning and sanitation project is included in the wider initiative "Mission Clean Ganga" launched by the National Ganges Basin Authority (Ngrba). By 2020 it plans to put an end to the discharge of untreated waste into the Ganges. The project should cover the entire network of tributaries of the river: this plan will include the construction of wastewater treatment centre, upgrading of drainage channels and other measures to improve water quality.

Environmentalists are alarmed, because, they argue, "unabated out of control pollution could cause a collapse of the communities that live on the banks of the river." It is estimated that about 400 million people live on the banks of the Ganges and in the past they have seen other projects end without results, including those that forecast drinking water by 1989. Water pollution in India is large scale and widespread and includes all the rivers of the basin of the Ganges. It has a direct impact on health, being a major cause of cancer in the area. The International International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (Ihpba) estimates that in northern India there are at least ten victims of cancer per 100 thousand.

Of course all this will be discussed also at the summit on climate change scheduled for Copenhagen in December 7 to 18. India has already declared its disappointment on the draft of Danish greenhouse gas reduction by 2020, arguing that rich countries pollute far more and announced an alternative proposal with China, on reducing the energy intensity of production industry.

See also

02/10/2014 INDIA
Modi, sweeper for a day for Gandhi and the "Clean India" campaign
The aim is to improve the sanitary conditions of the Indian people, providing toilets and services to schools and homes. For pro-Dalit activist Raghuvanshi, the campaign is a boost to the fight against the caste system. However, he opposes plans to turn the Ganges River into a fluvial highway for goods.

14/07/2011 INDIA
A billion dollars to clean up a filthy Ganges
The river worshipped by Hindus and vital to India is now an open sewer, full of faecal bacteria, unfit for bathing or farming. Now the World Bank will fund a restoration project, but experts express doubts about its success.

14/01/2013 INDIA
India, 10 million pilgrims expected for the beginning of the Kumbh Mela
For 55 days, more than 100 million Hindus will bathe in the holy waters of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Sarawati. The Kumbh Mela falls every 12 years and is one of the most important Hindu festivals. Hygiene alarm: the high rate of pollution of waterways, the authorities have set up field hospitals and toilets.

14/07/2017 10:01:00 INDIA
Environmental court bans dumping of trash and bodies in the Ganges

The ordinance applies to within 500 meters of the shore. You cannot build within 100 meters. Fines of up to 680 euros for those who break the rules. The leather-making industries in Uttar Pradesh will need to be moved. Ban on setting corpses afloat in river as per Hindus funerary tradition

13/02/2018 16:14:00 CHINA
Pollution, smog up around Shanghai and Hong Kong

Tighter controls in Beijing drive factories south. China’s average PM2.5 emissions is 64 micrograms per cubic metre, more than six times the acceptable level set by the World Health Organisation.

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