Tue, 30 Nov 2021

New Delhi [India], November 26 (ANI): Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the River Cities Alliance and said that the initiative will enable cities to learn from each other's successes and failures as well as connect people with the rivers.

River Cities Alliance is a dedicated platform for river cities in India to ideate, discuss and exchange information for sustainable management of urban rivers.

Shekhawat said, " this is an excellent initiative which will enable cities to learn from each other's successes and failures as well as connect people with the rivers".

This is the 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, said a press release by Ministry of Jal Shakti.

The alliance will focus on three broad themes- networking, capacity building and technical support. The Secretariat of the alliance will be set up at National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA), with NMCG's support, added the press release.

The Prime Minister in the meeting of the National Ganga Council held at Kanpur in December 2019, had highlighted the need for a new river centric thinking in planning for cities on the banks of rivers, read the statement.

The participating cities in the River Cities Alliance are Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Munger, Patna, Berhampore, Hooghly-Chinsurah, Howrah, Jangipur, Maheshtala, Rajmahal, Sahibganj, Ayodhya, Bijnor, Farrukhabad, Kanpur, Mathura-Vrindavan, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Aurangabad, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Pune, Udaipur and Vijayawada, as per the press statement.

Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs stated, "The River Cities Alliance can play a crucial role in connecting cities with their rivers, and that it can be a model for all cities in the Basin and beyond to emulate".

Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti stated "This Alliance will give an opportunity to municipal administrators and their teams to take path-breaking initiatives and learn and inspire each other".

The primary objective of RCA is to provide the member cities with a platform to discuss and exchange information on aspects that are vital for sustainable management of urban rivers such as minimizing their water footprint, reducing impacts on river and water bodies, capitalizing on natural, intangible, architectural heritage and associated services and develop self-sufficient, self-sustainable water resources through recycle, reuse strategy.

The Alliance cities will work towards adopting and localizing national policies and instruments with key river-related directions, prepare their Urban River Management Plans and develop city-specific sectoral strategies that are required for sustainable urban river management.

The Alliance gives opportunities to these cities to strengthen governance aspects for river cities and improves their liveability to attract external economic investments, access state of the art knowledge and frameworks as well as an opportunity to serve as the site for unique demonstration projects which will be implemented by NIUA and NMCG. (ANI)

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