Government of India was first to respond to an appeal by the Cambodian Government to save the famous Angkor Wat temples. Various teams of Archaeological Survey of India worked from 1986 to 1993 for the restoration work of Angkor Wat. The Project, financed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was the single largest project with the cost of around US$ 4 million, and is still appreciated by Cambodia. Further on Cambodia’s request, India also agreed to restore Ta Prohm temple in Siem Reap. Restoration of temple complex at Ta-Prohm has been a major ongoing project and work by the ASI team has been widely appreciated. Phase II of the project was completed in July 2015 and the new phase of project will commence soon.
Following the visit of PM Hun Sen to India in December 2007, Government of India has so far extended Line of Credits (LOC) of US$ 65.20 million to Cambodia for Water Development and transmission line projects. In addition, two LOCs are being considered under the revised IDEA scheme amounting to US$37 million and US$20 million for two developmental projects. In December 2007, India offered a grant in aid of US$ 8.5 million for supply and installation of 1500 Afridev hand-operated pumps to augment supply of drinking water in rural areas of Cambodia. Government of India has also provided grant in aid of approximately US $ 3 million for two projects namely; Siem Reap Basin – Development of Master Plan and Study of Ground Water Resources of Kampong Speu Province.
Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Initiative
The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is an initiative by six countries – India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam launched in 2000 at Vientiane, Lao PDR, for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications. Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilizational rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins. The MGC is also indicative of the civilizational, cultural and commercial linkages among the member countries of the MGC down the centuries.
Under MGC Initiative, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Asian Traditional Textiles Museum at Siem Reap, Cambodia has been set up and scholarships are being offered for diverse areas of study such as Culture, Buddhist, IT, Vocational training etc., to enable scholars from the MGC countries to study in India.
Further, under Quick Impact Project Scheme, it has been decided to offer Indian grant assistance for implementation of small projects with capital cost of US$ 50000 for socio-economic development for creation or upgradation of physical infrastructure such as roads, local community centres etc., and social infrastructure such as in the education, health, sanitation or community development sectors. The short gestation projects are aimed to directly benefit local communities, with immediate and visible results which contribute significantly to economic and social development and improvement of public welfare and would give fresh impetus to cooperation under Mekong-Ganga Cooperation.
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