DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand will get technical expertise and loan assistance from Germany to clean the Ganga, for which both sides are likely to sign an agreement by December end, water resource minister Prakash Pant said.

“As per the proposed agreement, Germany will provide us technical expertise and loan assistance of Rs 1,150 crore to help us in implementing works relating to cleaning the Ganga. The loan will be utilised in setting up a network of sewerage lines along various stretches of the Ganga,” Pant told HT on Tuesday.

According to officials, German experts are being hired for their expertise and experience in cleaning the Rhine—one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe.

Pant said the funds likely to be loaned out by Germany would be spent on setting up sewerage networks for five cities — Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie and Tapovan — along the Ganga.

He added that the proposed loan assistance is separate from the funds the state “receives” under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project Namami Gange. The project is being implemented in Uttarakhand (from where the river originates), Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

German experts had been providing technical expertise for cleaning the Ganga since the first phase of the Namami Gange project that was unrolled in Uttarakhand in 2015, sources said. In that phase, they formulated plans for sewage and affluent treatment plants to be set up along the Ganga in cities such as Haridwar and Rishikesh. “In a nutshell, they also gave their support to the entire Ganga rejuvenation project,” an official said.

“In the second phase, they will also provide technical expertise in executing 21 projects relating to sewerage treatment. They will also help in interception and diversion works,” another official associated with the Namami Gange Project said. “In that (IInd) phase, it (Germany) will also provide a loan assistance of Rs 1,150 crore for implementation of some of those projects.”

German experts would help in capacity building of officials of Jal Sansthan and Peyjal Nigam, the twin agencies designated to execute the high-profile Clean Ganga Project in Uttarakhand.

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