Improvement in river health cannot be achieved without first addressing issues in urban areas: Amitabh Kant
India Water Impact Summit 2020: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was speaking on the second day of the 5th India Water Impact Summit 2020, which focussed on “River Conservation Synchronized Human Settlement”.
Improvement in river health cannot be achieved without first addressing the issues and drivers in urban areas, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on the second day of the 5th India Water Impact Summit 2020, which focussed on "River Conservation Synchronized Human Settlement".
"River cities continue to expand and develop, creating an additional load for water extraction and pollution on rivers. Therefore, any improvement in the river health cannot be achieved without first addressing the issues and drivers in urban areas," Kant said.
Kant also said in a release by the Jal Shakti Ministry that the country needs passion for rivers among its people in the efforts towards river rejuvenation.
“Data and numbers are not sufficient, what is needed is passion amongst people for rivers. Passion and people combined can make the administration work towards river rejuvenation,” the CEO said, emphasizing on community participation.
Rivers particularly in India, are a symbol of faith, hope, culture and sanity as well as a source of livelihood for millions, Kant added.
The 5th India Water Impact Summit is organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and its think tank, Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga). This year the event is organized virtually with the theme of Arth Ganga – River Synchronized Development.
Also, speaking on the occasion, Prof Vinod Tare, founding head of cGanga explained that river conservation and development are two sides of the same coin, the release said.
Suggesting that local water bodies should be managed by local people and should cater to local needs, Tare said this will generate local employment and reduce the cost of transporting water.
Recently cGanga signed an MOU with British Water to create a bridge for the UK industry to pair up with its Indian counterparts to build 21st-century infrastructure in the water and environment sector. The UK is also becoming a major partner to help India tap into the global capital base to finance its green growth agenda, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG said, “We are working to integrate ‘Urban River Planning’ and ‘Urban Water Management Plan’ in the city’s master plans and the new master plan for Delhi under preparation would be made river sensitive”.
The ministry also said in the release that KeesBons, Deltares, Netherland presented three major takeaways from their experience. These include ensuring that any new development or growth is sustainable and does not lead to another problem, following an integrated approach and nature-based solutions and keep planning technical infrastructural solutions, it said.
In a session on ‘Financing global water security and journey to COP -26’ Gayatri I. Kumar, High Commissioner of India to the UK said, “We are continuously engaging and encouraging UK investors to invest in India particularly in the water sector.”