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Indo-German Talks on Ganga Cleaning and Rejuvenation

New Delhi: A delegation under the leadership of Dr. (Mrs.) Barbara Hendricks, Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Federal Republic of Germany today met Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti here in New Delhi. The focus of talks was works related with Ganga Rejuvenation and its cleaning. Welcoming the delegation the Sushri Uma Bharti said work has to be done with regard to access and analysis of the feasibility and prospects for and Indo-German co-operation for Ganga Rejuvenation. She informed that a Ganga scoping mission was taken up in October last following an approval from the Ministry of External Affairs. As per the report there may be a potential co-operation on the lines of Indo-German Energy forum. It could be : River basin planning, institutional setting and researches etc. in addition, technical co-operation on selected issues like support to river rejuvenation strategies, hot spot definition, prioritization, realistic time frame, basin wide monitoring & evaluation, setting of standards, pollution, Ganga Knowledge Centre, Research etc, can be worked out. There could also be financial co-operation on selected issues as innovative financing models for industrial and urban pollution, assistance to manage funds, selected public and or private investment funds, the Minister said. The German delegation said they are willing to assists in Ganga Rejuvenation in view of their success in the rejuvenation of Rhine and Denube rivers which involves multi-country and multi-State collaboration. The challenges of managing pollution due to sewage and the industrial effluents have been handled in these efforts which are also critical in the Ganga cleanup programme. Work is already under way on environmental and urban management issues and tool kits as well as other material for standardization and capacity building has also been developed. It was also mentioned during the meeting that recently a round table on scoping mission report has been conducted. The German government has committed 3 million Euro to support Ganga Rejuvenation during Indo-German negotiations. An appraisal is expected during March 2015 to formulate concrete projects for initial assistance. Indo- German Working Groups on Water Management & Circular Economy to be set up The Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar has said that Government’s initiatives to tap cleaner sources of energy reflected India’s commitment to pursue and practice clean and sustainable development. As a fast developing economy, climate adaptation measures along with mitigation formed the defining factor in India’s approach towards development. He also emphasized the need to alter the energy mix in favour of renewable energy sources so that a balanced approach towards development and environment conservation could be evolved. Shri Javadekar stated this while giving a joint statement with Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, of Germany here today. Also speaking on the occasion, Dr. Barbara Hendricks has said that Indian and German governments held similar positions for the Post-2015 agenda on Climate Change. Both Countries needed sustainable development goals that address all three dimensions of sustainability – economic, ecological and social aspects – equally. Germany was ready to share with India its experience in adapting to sustainable development models, the German Minister said. In a Bilateral Meeting held here, both the countries have decided to set up two Working Groups - One on Circular Economy and the other on Water Management. The Ministers stated that the focus of the working group would be restoration of water bodies, waste management, and more efficient use of water resources. Both the Ministers emphasized that the UN Climate Summit in Lima had laid the foundations for negotiations on a new global climate agreement which would be adopted in the Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris later this year.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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