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Dutch PM Mark Rutte hails Modi for Clean Ganga goals

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New Delhi, Lauding the goals set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for cleaning the Ganga, Dutch Premier Mark Rutte today said worldwide there was a need to value water, not only as an economic asset, but for its social, cultural and environmental importance. The government’s Namami Gange initiave, aimed at cleaning the 2525 km-long river, was undertaken and approved as its flagship programme in June 2014. It has a budget outlay of Rs 20,000 crore to accomplish the objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the river.

Rutte, who is a member of the United Nations-World Bank high-level panel on water, also stressed on the need to value water “not only as an economic asset, but also for its social, cultural and religious knowledge”. All of these, he said, were relevant when working on cleaning the Ganges. “I have a great respect for the goals that have been set by Prime Minister Mr Modi under the Namami Gange programme,” the Netherlands premier said, while speaking at an event organised by Indo-Dutch Ganga forum in the national capital.

Rutte said that the essence of the UN-World Bank initiative is to recognise that clean and sufficient water cannot be taken for granted.”Worldwide we need to value water, not only as an economic asset, but also for its social, its cultural, its environmental and of course, its religious knowledge. All of which are  so relevant when working on the holy Ganges.”