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The 5th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS) organized jointly by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Jal Shakti Ministry and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga), IIT Kanpur, inaugurated its 5-day Summit with the Central Jal Shakti Cabinet Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Sekhawat (Chief Guest), Minister of State Shri Ratan Lal Kataria, Secretary Shri U.P. Singh, NMCG Director-General Shri R.R. Mishra and cGanga’s Founder and Head Professor Vinod Tare presenting their views on the present-day significance of Arth Ganga to a distinguished national and international audience in virtual mode. This year the Summit is focusing on comprehensive and holistic management of small rivers and waterbodies by synchronizing river conservation with key development sectors such as human settlements (urban and rural), energy, tourism, agriculture, navigation, and flood management in the important Ganga basin states of Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.
Speaking in the Plenary Session on the first day of the Summit, the central Cabinet and State ministers explained the government’s initiatives and emphasized on the need for people’s participation as well as on “river conservation synchronized development” through an in-depth understanding of Arth Ganga. Shri Sekhawat said that we are building up an ecosystem where ecological conservation and economic development will go hand-in-hand. He said that this Summit is likely to be very important in strengthening international cooperation with India for the water sector. Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Jal Shakti Ministry described “Aviralta” as a fundamental property of rivers. He also emphasized that infrastructure for maintaining rivers’ “Nirmalta” is being built up in a sustainable manner. For successful water harvesting and conservation, he stressed on the 5R’s namely, Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, Recharge (groundwater harvesting), and Respect for water. In the inaugural plenary session of the Summit, Dr. Tare (Head, cGanga) explained the significance of the 5-day Summit’s theme of “Comprehensive Analysis and Holistic Management of Local Rivers and Waterbodies” to the audience. He described “Development” and “River Conservation” as being two sides of the same coin, and said Arth Ganga embraces both aspects simultaneously. Apart from the technical sessions, the Summit also discussed the importance of circular economy in river conservation and the means to ensure its success. A distinguished panel also discussed appropriate utilization of water and treated water as well as realistic water pricing. The discussions also threw light on technological innovations to meet environmental problems, environmental valuation (economic), and the participatory role of governmental and other institutions. The discussions were actively participated by national and international academics, Niti Aayog, government and non-government organizations, and industrial representatives.
The most important consensus view emerging from the first day’s discussions is that understanding the concept of Arth Ganga is essential to maintain the eternal character of Ganga. “Vocal for Local” is a vital fact, and local products must be increasing used to improve the economy near the Ganga river so that indirect impacts on rivers can be limited. Simultaneously, other environmental problems,such as those caused by agricultural stubble burning,need to be solved. Many of these problems can be solved by strengthening local economies through the circular economy principle of Vocal for Local. Extensive discussions were also held on restoring small rivers at local levels.
Dissemination of GRBMP Knowledge will benefit the masses
GRBMP reports were released by Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Ratan Lal Kataria in the inauguration and first session of the 5th IWIS. Copies of GRBMP reports are to be distributed to various universities, research institutes and laboratories of the country, where students will be able to use the knowledge in these reports. Apart from this, this GRBMP book can also be kept in public libraries.This book is based on the research work done by IIT Consortium (IITC) under the aegis of NMCG. IITC has been followed up by cGanga at IIT Kanpur which acts as a think tank for the Government, and whose aim is to make India a world leader in the field of river and water management.