‘We need worldwide to value water, not only as an economic asset but also for its social, cultural, environmental, and of course, its religious value. All of which are so relevant when working on the holy Ganga river’, said Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte at the opening of the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum in Delhi, India on 24 May.

He praised the Namami Ganga initiative by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, aimed at cleaning the 2525 km-long Ganges river. The programme to prevent future pollution and to restore the river has a budget of Rs 20,000 crore (3.1 billion US dollars).

dws-india-mission-ganga-modi-rutte350pxIndian prime minister Narendra Modi welcomed Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte as head of a large trade mission including four Dutch ministers.

Valuing water
Dutch prime minister Rutte headed a Dutch trade mission and spoke at the forum as a member of the UN-World Bank High level panel on water (HLPW) and leader of the Valuing water initiative.

On the occasion of the forum the Dutch prime minister stressed the need to recognise that clean and sufficient water cannot be taken for granted.

Huge river project
In 2014 the Indian government launched an integrated Ganga conservation mission called ‘Namami Gange’ to prevent pollution of the Ganges River and to revive the river.

Recently the Indian government announced to have started 195 projects for various activities such as improving and expansion of sewage infrastructure, landing steps to the river and crematoria development, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation, and public participation.

dws-india-mission-ganges-haridwar-350pxSpecial about the Ganges river is its religious meaning, here seen at the holy city of Haridwar.

Modernising ports and waterways
On the first day of the trade mission, Dutch minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, attended the Indo-Dutch Forum on Smart and Sustainable Port-led Development in Mumbai.

‘India features a long coastline and an extensive river network that holds a great many opportunities for the logistics sector. In large sections of India, goods transport by water can be an ideal alternative to transport by busy roads,’ she pointed out in her opening address.

‘Dutch companies are eager to assist the Indian government in realising its ambition of modernising the ports and improving waterway connections to the hinterland’, Van Nieuwenhuizen added.

Urban planning on waste and waste water
Dutch municipality of Amsterdam concluded a Memorandum of Understanding during the conference. The Dutch capital will be collaborating with the State of Maharashtra in the fields of urban planning, waste management, waste processing, and water management.

 Read also on this website
Dutch-Indian partnership introduces less polluting tanning technology for cleaner Ganges, India, 23 November 2017
Indian-Dutch consortium rolls out cleaning project Barapulla drainage canal, New Delhi, India, 21 September 2016
Waternet International signs MoU with Tata Trusts for safe water and sanitation in India, 30 March 2015
Boskalis acquires two years contract for deeping and widening port of Mumbai, India, 6 August 2012
Country: India

More information
Netherlands embassy
New Delhi, India
+91 11 24 19 76 00

Report by India’s TV News channel DD News on the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum.

Official video presentation of the Namami Ganga initiative on the website of prime minister Narendra Modi.