Denmark to help India cleanse the Ganges river 

Denmark has committed to helping India cleanse the holy, but heavily polluted, Ganges river, Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, said after meeting India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. 

Denmark to help India cleanse the Ganges river 
Illustration photo of the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. Denmark and India have agreed a project that will see Danish technology implemented to cleanse parts of the Ganges. Photo: Ritesh Shukla/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

“The Ganges is a river of great importance to India – both religiously and practically, because it supplies water to many Indians,” Jørgensen said.

“That is why it is also very serious that it is as polluted as it is – one of the most polluted in the world – and that is why we would like to help clean it. And we have very good expertise in Denmark in water purification in particular,” he said. 

During his visit Jørgensen signed an agreement on a water purification project which will start with a study on cleaning a single section of the river. 

That study will seek to identify the sources of the pollution and how the river can be restored sustainably.

An ambition of the project is to demonstrate cleansing methods that can be used in other parts of India.

“This is clearly a huge task. The Ganges is over 2,500 kilometres long and covers over a million square metres. That’s why we’re setting about this by investigating a specific part of the river and some tributaries,” Jørgensen said.

An agreement between Denmark and India for “strategic green partnership” was made during a 2021 visit to the Asian country by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Jørgensen said the project evidenced objectives on green solutions are shared by Denmark and India.

“Denmark has the experience and the abilities and we have the size,” Modi said during a visit to Denmark last year.

The Danish development cooperation minister made comments on a similar theme on Wednesday.

“It’s correct that if we can implement some of our Danish solutions and make a big difference in a country like India, that is completely unique and beneficial to both countries,” he said.

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Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark

Denmark is known as a cycling nation, but an increasing number of people in the Nordic country are opting for an electric motor on their bicycle.

Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark

The popularity of electric bicycles has charged forwards in Denmark over the last decade.

While very few electric cycles or elcykler were sold in 2011, almost a quarter of all bicycles sold lad year were fitted with electric motors, according to a new report from the Danish Roads Directorate (Vejdirektoratet).

The report is based on a survey of around 3,000 people in Denmark.

While the electric bike has traditionally been seen as a mode of transport for older members of society, its use has become more widespread according to the Minister of Transport, Thomas Danielsen, who said he welcomed the increased use of electric bikes.

The minister noted that 32 percent of electric cycle-owning Danes are now under the age of 40, pointing out its use in rural locations with less public transport coverage.

“When you live somewhere where buses don’t leave eight times an hour, you need an alternative. In this sense it’s positive that the electric bicycle is gaining ground,” he said.

“Where 10-15 kilometres is too much for pure pedal power, the electric bicycle can make (cycling) a genuine alternative for daily transport,” he said.

The electric cycle is most popular in regional towns, where 16 percent currently opt for the chargeable bike.

Reasons giving for preferring it in the report were its easier use over long distances and ability to save travelling time compared to the regular push-bike.

Around half of electric bicycle users in the survey said it had fully or partially replaced their car.