Vidya Ram

Clean Ganga Mission: In UK visit, Gadkari musters ₹500 crore in pledges

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 09, 2018

Drawing funds The IFC report said Indian renewable energy has the potential to attract $448 billion in investments, followed by transport infrastructure, agriculture and urban water

Indian business leaders commit resources for various sections of project

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has kicked off an international roadtrip to draw investment and technology sharing into the Centre’s Clean Ganga Mission in London this week. The visit has already resulted in ₹500 crore of pledges for investment for the development of the riverfront from a number of UK-based Indian business leaders, including Anil Agarwal, the Hindujas, Prakash Lohia and Ravi Mehrotra.

“I know how to get this done,” said Gadhikari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, of the ambitious programme to clean the river, which is one of the government’s flagship initiatives.

He dismissed criticisms over the length of time taken by the project, insisting that doing it as an integrated conservation mission is key to its success. He further said he was being “cautious” in his assessment that in two years there would be a considerable reduction in C02 and N02 levels. The Centre is keen to enlist private sector partners in the four-phase project.

During his visit, Gadkari held talks with a number of Indian-origin business people in London, who pledged considerable financial support for the initiative. While Vedanta Group chief Anil Agarwal made a commitment towards the development of the Patna (where he was born) riverfront, Foresight Group’s Ravi Mehrotra will take up the development at Kanpur, the Hindujas will lead the development of the ghats and other amenities at Haridwar and Indorama’s Prakash Lohia will take on Ganga Sagar in Kolkata.

“We wholeheartedly appeal to all Indian companies, NRIs and the diaspora to participate in the Namami Gange Programme,” Gadkari said. The government will work as a facilitator on the projects, liaising with the business groups in the drafting of the final plans, which would be non-profit ventures for the companies, he added.

During the trip, on which he is accompanied by UP Singh, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, Gadkari also signed MoUs with five British companies for technology sharing and investment. These include Scottish biofuel company Celtic Renewables, water treatment firm Lyndon Water, Mebifarm, NVH Technologies and Arkatap.

“We are confident that many more companies and individuals will step forward for…what is the biggest environmental project of its kind in the world,” said Gadkari.

Published on November 30, 2017

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