DHARA which stands for Driving Holistic Action for Urban Rivers, the annual meeting of the members of the River Cities Alliance (RCA), is being organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) from 13th to 14th February in Pune. The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will deliver the keynote address on the inaugural day of the event while the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Kaushal Kishore will deliver the valedictory address on day two. DHARA 2023 will provide a platform for senior officials including Commissioners, Addl. Commissioners, Chief Engineers and Senior Planners of the 95-member river cities in India to co-learn and discuss solutions for managing local water bodies.
The event has strong synergies with the Urban20 (U20) initiative under the ambit of India’s G20 Presidency. One of the thrust areas of U20 is to promulgate urban water security. Healthy rivers have a vital role to play in enhancing the overall water security of the city. DHARA 2023 will witness multiple sessions over the two-day event that include sessions on ‘National Case Studies on Innovative River-related Practices’ to introduce the participants to several unique and innovative solutions for different aspects of urban river management involving lake and pond rejuvenation, de-centralized used-water management, enhancing river-related economy, groundwater management, and flood management and ‘International Case Studies’ to focus on Innovative River-related practices in countries like Denmark, reuse of used water in Israel, floodplain management in Netherlands, river health monitoring in USA, pollution control in Japan, and water sensitive city design in Australia.
- DHARA strong synergies with Urban20 initiative under ambit of India’s G20 Presidency
- Day 2 of the event will witness a Yoga session & visit to Mulla Mutha riverfront
- PM laid foundation stone for a pollution abatement project for Mulla Mutha River in Pune in March 2022.
- River Cities Alliance started with 30 cities in 2021 and currently has 95 cities as members across India
- RCA was launched in 2021 as a dedicated platform for river cities across India to discuss & exchange information for sustainable management of urban rivers
- DHARA 2023 is being organised for Municipal Commissioners of member cities to come up with possible learning solutions for urban river management
- Expected outcome includes development of a compendium of technological solutions that cities may adopt for enhancing management of local rivers
- DHARA will shine light on unaddressed issues & challenges for river management in cities and help NIUA & partners in formulating an effective work plan
On Day 2 of the event, a Yoga session and a visit to Mulla Mutha riverfront will also be organised. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a pollution abatement project for Mulla Mutha River in Pune in March 2022. The project, under National River Conservation Plan, envisages creation of 11 sewage treatment plants of total 396 MLD capacity at the cost of Rs. 990.26 crore. Other dignitaries participating in the event includes Shri Manukumar Srivastava, Chief Secretary, Maharashtra, Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG, Ms. Sonia Sethi, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Maharashtra, Ms. D. Thara, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
DHARA 2023 is being organised for the Municipal Commissioners of the member cities to initiate in-depth discussions and come up with possible learning solutions for urban river management. The expected participants of the event involve representatives of RCA (Commissioners/ Addl. Commissioners), Central and State Government dignitaries, citizens NIUA and NMCG, Thinktanks (NGOs and thought leaders), students and young leaders, national experts, international experts, local government agencies, stakeholders from the private sector, funding agencies and media people.
The session with Principal Secretaries (Urban Development) of selected States (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu) will incorporate a discussion on strengthening the agenda and set priorities pertaining to urban river management. The event will also have presentations by RCA members which will provide an opportunity for Commissioners to display interesting work related to rivers and water bodies taken up in their cities.
The session on Funding Advice for River-related Project will outline different national and international funding available for river-related projects. The speakers of this session will include World Bank, Agence Française de development (AFD), Embassy of Denmark, Department for International Development (DFID), KfW Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Private Enterprises (through CSR activities). The session on Technology and Innovation is in the form of an exhibition of the latest state-of-the-art technologies that can be used for river management. These technologies are related to database and monitoring, riverfront development, eco-friendly construction material, solid and liquid waste management, and apps and IT-related innovation. There will also be a session with the young people ‘Youth for Rivers’ to provide an opportunity to students from different disciplines to present their ideas for management of urban rivers.
The expected outcome of DHARA 2023 is to inspire members of the RCA to engage in progressive actions for urban river management in their cities. It is also expected that the event will shine light on the unaddressed issues and challenges for river management in cities, which will help NIUA and its partners in formulating an effective work plan. The event will also develop a compendium of technological solutions that cities may adopt for enhancing the management of their local rivers.
River Cities Alliance (RCA) started with 30 cities in 2021 and currently has 95 cities as members across India. RCA was launched by the Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on November 2021 as a dedicated platform for river cities in India to ideate, discuss and exchange information for sustainable management of urban rivers. River Cities Alliance, first-of-its-kind Alliance in the world, symbolizes the successful partnership of the two Ministries i.e., Ministry of Jal Shakti and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The Alliance focuses on three broad themes- Networking, Capacity Building and Technical Support.
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