New Delhi: Critics of the Left Front in West
Bengal may have blamed its 34-year rule for underdevelopment
there, but a World Bank report has commended the state for
growth and poverty reduction in the Ganga basin.
The World Bank report on the river Ganga, however, said
other basin states -- Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and
Jharkhand -- are hit by a "disproportionately high incidence
of income poverty" and lagging in development and eradication
"These basin states have a disproportionately high
incidence of income poverty and, with the exception of West
Bengal, have generally lagged in growth and poverty
reduction," World Bank`s Project Appraisal Document on
National Ganga River Basin said.
According to the report, the Ganga basin is the most
populous in the world, with more than 400 million people in
"It accounts for 25 per cent of India`s water resources,
and the five states on its mainstream are home to more than 50
per cent of the poor people in the country," it said.
The report said the Ganga basin exemplifies a typical
"hydraulic civilisation", where achieving water security to
harness the river`s productive potential and limit its
destructive potential is critical for sustenance and economic
The report was made public last week after the government
signed a USD 1 billion loan agreement with the World Bank for
cleaning the river, which is seriously polluted and under
extreme environmental stress.