IBRD Sanitation Official hails India’s efforts for river rejuvenation, cleanliness, Open Defecation Mission

New Delhi: From artificial intelligence to state-of-the-art infrastructure development approaches, US companies are aiming to partner with their Indian peers to accelerate innovative technologies and solutions into the Indian market, stated the Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water Resources) in a press communication. In a session on Digital Water on Sunday, 13th December, Dr. Ravi Kota, Minister Economic – Embassy of India, Washington D.C., said, “The United States can be great allies to building India’s Digital foundation for the water sector.” Xavier Chauvet De Beauchene, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), said that the Bank is very proud of all the work done in India. “Who would have thought 5 years ago that 550 million people will stop defecating in the open in India.” He added that there is a massive shift in the Indian Government’s approach from focusing only on infrastructure development to working with people and bringing about behavioural change.

The Water Resources Ministry stated that he also emphasised the importance of data. “The problem cannot be solved if it is not understood and quantified. India has taken many endeavours in this direction. There are many tasks at the work-in-progress stage but it’s a very good start,” observed De Beauchene. Ben Grumble, Secretary, Environment, Maryland, stressed upon the need of nations to learn from each other’s experience. He said that “equity” of water is very essential and shared the success story of the US Clean Water Act. India has also launched the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ with the goal of equal distribution of water to all, the Water Ministry stated.

Usha Rao Monari, Senior Advisor at Blackstone Infrastructure Group and Board, presenting the case of the Thames river cleaning up said that a good mix of policy and finance lead to effective cleaning of the river. It is noteworthy that the Namami Gange Mission has the advantage of these two factors – policy and finance, Monari added.

The discussion was organised as a part of the 5th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS) by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga).

Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG said, “We are glad that our efforts are being recognised by the international fraternity now.” He attributed the success of the Namami Gange Mission to his team, volunteers, academicians, and many self-help organisations who are working towards the cause of cleaning Ganga and her tributaries under the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the guidance of the Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, stated the Ministry.

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The ID Staff

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