The 6th Edition of the India Water Impact Summitbased on theme for River Resources Allocation- Planning and Management at the Regional Level concluded on its 5th day and final day today.The valedictory sessionwas conducted in a hybrid mode by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), New Delhi and Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga), Kanpur. The session was graced by the Minister of State, Ministry of Jal Shakti,Shri Bisweshwar Tudu& Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG, Prof Vinod Tare, Founding Head, c-ganga and Ms. Yamini Aiyar President and Chief Executive of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) among others.
During the session, Shri Bisweshwar Tudu, Minister of State, Ministry of Jal Shakti congratulated NMCG and c-Ganga for the remarkable effort of organizing the 6th IWIS and applauded the great participation and successful deliberation and discussion by the prominent experts from Indian and International diaspora. He emphasized on the importance of implementing the outcomes of these discussions and focus on more practical approaches. Shri Tudu concluded by saying that he is hopeful that next year’s IWIS will also bring more interesting topics and discussions for the better management, planning and protection of rivers and its resources as well.
Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, NMCG began his address by highlighting the scientific knowledge and approach behind the development of the Namami Gange Programme. The Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP) developed by the 7 IIT consortium has given a very strong background and understanding of the Ganga Basin. He said, “River Ganga is a lifeline, it exists in the thinking of each one of us. In this summit, we have had many international sessions also, as the topic is not only limited to India but also concerns with rivers and regions across the globe. While starting the Namami Gange Programme, AviralDhara and Nirmal Dhara missions came along to maintain the quantity and quality of the flow. Following the vision of the Prime Minister, the mission was incomplete without the people river connect and that was brought in through the concept of Jan and Gyan Ganga”. He also said that the MoU with the Centre for Policy and Research (CPR) will help Namami Ganage in policy and governance perspectives related to river rejuvenation and conservation of river Ganga.
Prof. Vinod Tare, Founding Head, Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (c-Ganga) and Professor, IIT Kanpur talked about the overall IWIS deliberations and discussions on the regional scale of river Ganga. He mentioned, “It is our responsibility to maintain the ecology of the rivers and how we can deliver diligently to those responsibilities is something being discussed in the Science and Technology, and Policy & Governance sessions”. He said, “Over five days of events, more than 35 panelists from different countries, regions and sectors contributed to the success of the 6th IWIS”.
During the session a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed MoU between NMCG and the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), New Delhi – a premier public policy research think tank. Both organizations shall work together to collaborate in research and knowledge production activities for rejuvenating rivers in India and informed policy thinking and institutional transformation for enduring outcomes for long-term impact.
The day witnessed the launch of four important releases which include the ‘Uttarakhand River Atlas’, ‘Alaknanda and Bhagirathi River Basin Atlas’, ‘Yamuna River Basin Atlas’ and the ‘Samarth Ganga Report’. Additionally, the ‘Leather Trade Information Portal’, which is a unique digital portal developed by Namami Gange and Solidaridad was also launched. The portal is a solution-oriented tool which will help the tanneries to self-assess their environmental performance.
The last day of the Summit focused on the deltaic region of the River basin and witnessed special addresses on Ecology and River Flow in Sundarbans and River Islands by Dr Anurag Danda, Director, Sundarbans Program Office, WWF- India and Shri Manu Bhatnagar, Principal Director, Natural Heritage Division, INTACH respectively. A special address on River Rejuvenation through MGNREGA was also given by Shri Yogesh Kumar, Additional Commissioner, MGNREGA-UP. Shri Mike Pandey, three-time recipient of the Green Oscar Award also joined the session at the Summit through a video message on ‘Sunderbans – A fragile Ecosystem’.
The 6th Edition of the Summit was based on theme for River Resources Allocation- Planning and Management at the Regional Level. The session had adopted a regional level approach for the Summit and was categorized into overall basin and subsequently in upper, middle, lower and deltaic region of the Ganga basin. The various sessions organized included the need for identification and conducting systematic assessment and valuation of river resources, potential impact of water efficient solutions in maintaining the overall water balance of the country, implementation challenges of the river resources allocation plans, the need to inculcate a scientific understanding of rivers for developing sustainable policies and encourage the creation of circular water economy through water recycling and establishing a water trading market, amongst others. Each day also had dedicated session for international collaborations which are underway. These include countries such as Norway, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and EU and its member states.
The 5-day Summit also witnessed the signing of an MoU between C-Ganga and Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) for the development of a sludge management framework. Similarly, two MoUs have also been signed with Innovation Centre Denmark and UPS Hungary to encourage the sharing of knowledge and increase participation of Hungarian industry in the Ganga River Basin Restoration and Conservation Program. An MoU between C Ganga and British water was also signed to promote the development of 21st century infrastructure in water and the environment sector.