The Ganga river provides livelihood to more than 500 million people. It is the source for drinking water and many economic and agricultural activities. A healthy river landscape provides a habitat for many plants and animals. Besides this, the Ganga river also has high cultural and religious significance.
Efforts to rejuvenate the Ganga over the last 30 years included considerable investments in urban infrastructure for wastewater treatment, while the investment in improved framework conditions to ensure sustainable operations have been neglected. Funds allocated by the Indian Government and donors (including the World Bank) amounting to billions of Euros remained partially unused due to poor implementation structures and insufficient capacities. Hence, the share of treated urban wastewater remained well below 50% of the total wastewater generated. A survey of the Central Pollution Control Board revealed that the overall treatment capacity is running at less than 60% in the 51 assessed plants. About 30% of the plants of the evaluated plants are not fully operational or not operational at all. The situation fares similar when looking at industrial wastewater. Only the big companies have effluent sewage treatment plants, which often are not properly operated.
The project is part of the DC-Programme „Sustainable Urban and Industrial Development”. The TC-project focuses on the entire Ganga river basin in India. Measures at the regional level will be concentrated in the state of Uttarakhand. Partners are the central government, states administrations and selected municipalities. The measure follows a multi-sector approach at the national level that considers urban and industrial wastewater problems and also all other stress factors affecting river basin management.