DHARA Annual Meeting Of The River Cities Alliance
The River Cities Alliance – The annual meeting of the River Cities Alliance (RCA), DHARA, is being organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in collaboration with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) from the 13th to the 14th of February in Pune. Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti, will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the event, while Shri Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, will deliver the valedictory address on day two. DHARA 2023 will provide a forum for senior officials from India’s 95 river cities, including Commissioners, Addl. Commissioners, Chief Engineers, and Senior Planners, to co-learn and discuss solutions for managing local water resources.
The event has strong synergies with India’s G20 Presidency’s Urban20 (U20) initiative. One of the U20’s priority areas is to promote urban water security. Healthy rivers play an important role in improving the city’s overall water security. Over the two-day event, DHARA 2023 will feature sessions on ‘National Case Studies on Innovative River-related Practices,’ which will introduce participants to several unique and innovative solutions for various 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,’ which will focus on Inns.
A Yoga session and a visit to the Mulla Mutha riverfront will be organised on Day 2 of the event. In March 2022, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the groundwork for a pollution-reduction project on the Mulla Mutha River in Pune. The project, funded by the National River Conservation Plan, calls for the construction of 11 sewage treatment plants with a total capacity of 396 MLD at a cost of Rs. 990.26 crore. Shri Manukumar Srivastava, Chief Secretary, Maharashtra, Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG, Ms. Sonia Sethi, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Maharashtra, and Ms. D. Thara, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs are among those attending the event.
The River Cities Alliance
The Municipal Commissioners of the member cities will meet at DHARA 2023 to initiate in-depth conversations and come up with possible learning solutions for urban river management. Representatives of the RCA (Commissioners/Addl. Commissioners), Central and State Government dignitaries, citizens of 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 are expected to attend the event.
The Funding Advice for River-Related Projects session will go over the various national and international funding options for river-related projects. The 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 will be among the speakers at this session (through CSR activities). The Technology and Innovation session will take the form of an exhibition of the most cutting-edge technologies that can be used for river management. These technologies are related to database and monitoring, riverfront development, environmentally friendly building materials, solid and liquid waste management, and app and IT-related innovation.
DHARA 2023 is expected to inspire RCA members to take progressive actions for urban river management in their cities. The event is also expected to shed light on unresolved issues and challenges for river management in cities, assisting NIUA and its partners in developing an effective work plan. The event will also create a collection of technological solutions that cities can use to improve river management in their communities.