Regional Workshop on ‘Sustainable Water and Sanitation: Best management Practices’ in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on May 1, 2013
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) organized a one day regional workshop on ‘Sustainable Water and Sanitation: Best management Practices’ on May 1, 2013 at the Naveen Bhawan,
UP Housing and Development Board (UP Awas Evam Vikas Parishad) , Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The workshop was supported by Urban Development Department (UDD) and UP Jal Nigam as the local state partner. The workshop is part of various activities supported by Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission - Comprehensive Capacity Building Programme (JnNURM – CCBP), Ministry of Urban Development and Government of India. The states targeted though these workshop were Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh & West Bengal.
At the inaugural session, Mr. A.K. Mittal, Managing Director, U.P. Jal Nigam welcomed the participants representing key functionaries from Municipal Corporations, Public Health Departments, Water and Sanitation Boards, Ground Water Boards, Pollution Control Boards, Programme Management Units (PMU), Programme Implementation Units (PIU) and local bodies of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand. Other key participants included faculty, researchers and students from IIT- Kanpur, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, practitioners, consultants and NGOs involved in the advocacy of sustainable urban water and wastewater management in northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhand.
Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Programme Director, Water Management, CSE presented an overview of water and wastewater management in the NURM phase I and challenges in expanding the accessibility and availability of water supply and sanitation facilities to make the cities vibrant. He emphasized the importance of the linkage between water and energy as being the key object for the NURM phase II beside the need to understand the socio-economic connect for technological interventions. He set the tone of the workshop by laying out the objectives of the regional workshop as follows:
To generate awareness about the best management practices (BMPs), state of art knowledge and reforms in the area of sustainable water and sanitation.
To discuss with key state holders the concept, issues/barriers and experiences in mainstreaming of BMPs/NURM reforms in the sustainable water management area.
To explore capacity building support required to implement projects aimed at mainstreaming BMPs and reforms in the NURM schemes.
The Chief Guest of the programme, Mr. Alok Ranjan, Agricultural production Commissioner and the officiating Chief Secretary for the Uttar Pradesh state, highlighted the rapid urbanization happening in India and claimed that urban areas have not properly developed as they should have. He stressed the need to replicate the success of solid waste management achieved in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh across other cities in the state and the nation. He emphasized need to upscale new technologies like bio-remediation – that has been tried and tested for municipal sewage treatment in city of Kanpur.
He stated that capacity building of the municipal bodies along with community education and participation will be needed for changes to happen in the right direction. He affirmed the need for user charges for water/wastewater management and stated that people need to understand that they need to pay for good services.
This was followed by policy overview of water and wastewater management in Uttar Pradesh by Mr. C.B. Paliwal, Principal Secretary, UDD, Government of Uttar Pradesh. He stated the need to plan for water/wastewater use in light of rapid urbanization being experienced by India and stated that sustainability and equity were key issues for this planning. He felt that educating community on water use and management is the key for reforms. He stated that the steps taken up the government in Uttar Pradesh for reforms under JnNURM were the second best at 87% with only Gujrat above them at 90%.
Other speakers at the workshop included many experts such as Pradeep Kumar (Alliance to Save Energy, Bangalore) who talked about energy efficiency opportunities in water supply system; Prof. Shankar (IIT- Mumbai) who presented on the innovative applications of Soil Bio technology for treating wastewater; Dr. Rakesh Kumar (NEERI, Mumbai) who shared information on a low cost treatment option for treating wastewater and safeguarding water quality at the same time; and Sanjay Guleria (NJS Consultants, Pune) who talked about the recycle and reuse of wastewater for sustainable water management.
The workshop concluded on the note that decentralized water and wastewater management will be the key for sustainable water management in the future given the rate of rapid urbanization in the country. The need for capacity building programmes to further train and strengthen the relevant government authorities was stressed upon. The role of CSE in training government officials with relevant tools, techniques and providing a platform for deliberations and exposure to new ideas was identified.