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River Cities Alliance

  • 26 Nov 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Jal Shakti along with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the River Cities Alliance (RCA).

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

Key Points

  • About:
    • The Alliance will focus on three broad themes- Networking, Capacity Building and Technical Support.
    • Although the Alliance began with the Ganga basin cities, it was extended to include cities beyond the basin as well. 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.
    • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA) have collaborated together to launch the RCA.
  • Objectives:
    • To provide the member cities with a platform to discuss and exchange information on aspects that are vital for sustainable management of urban rivers.
    • To work towards adopting and localizing national policies and instruments with key river-related directions.
    • To prepare cities urban river management plans and develop city-specific sectoral strategies that are required for sustainable urban river management.
  • Significance:
    • It will enable cities to learn from each other’s successes and failures as well as connect people with the rivers.
    • It 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.
    • It will give an opportunity to municipal administrators and their teams to take path breaking initiatives and learn and inspire each other.
    • It gives opportunities to the 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.
  • Suggestions:
    • Cities should be responsible for rejuvenating their rivers. It has to be done not just with a regulatory mindset but also with a developmental and facilitatory outlook.
    • There is a need for a framework for integration between Urban Built Form including landscape and urban water cycle.
    • Cities have largely been held responsible for the deteriorated state of rivers, and therefore, will need to play a vital role in the rejuvenation efforts as well.
    • There is a need to mainstream river sensitive approaches while planning for the cities.

Related Initiatives

  • Namami Gange Programme: It is an Integrated Conservation Mission to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
  • National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA): It was formed by the Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Clean Ganga Fund: In 2014, it was formed for cleaning up of the Ganga, setting up of waste treatment plants, and conservation of biotic diversity of the river.
  • Bhuvan-Ganga Web App: It ensures involvement of the public in monitoring of pollution entering into the river Ganga.
  • Ban on Waste Disposal: In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned the disposal of any waste in the Ganga.

Source: PIB

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