Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Union Minister for Jal Shakti, inaugurated the River Cities Alliance (RCA) on Thursday (November 25), a dedicated platform for river cities in India to brainstorm, debate, and share information for sustainable river management.
The Urban River Management Plan for Kanpur City was also revealed by the Union Minister.
The River Cities Alliance will concentrate on three main themes: networking, capacity building, and technical assistance. With the help of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the Alliance’s Secretariat will be established at the National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA).
Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kanpur, Ayodhya, Patna, Howrah, Ayodhya, Varanasi, Prayagraj, and other Ganga basin towns, as well as Aurangabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Udaipur, Vijayawada, and other non-Ganga basin cities, are among the River Cities Alliance’s members.
The prime minister has stressed the need for a new river-centric mindset in planning for towns on the banks of rivers during the National Ganga Council meeting in Kanpur in December 2019. Following that, NMCG and NIUA teamed up to establish the RCA.
The primary goal of RCA is to provide a forum for member cities to discuss and exchange information on issues important to the long-term management of urban rivers, such as reducing their water footprint, reducing impacts on rivers and water bodies, leveraging natural, intangible, and architectural heritage and associated services, and developing self-sufficient, self-sustainable water resources through recycling and reuse strategies.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti stated, “The Alliance cities will work toward adopting and localising 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 provides these cities with opportunities to strengthen river city governance and improve their liveability in order to attract external economic investments, gain access to state-of-the-art knowledge and frameworks, and serve as the site for unique demonstration projects that will be implemented by NIUA and NMCG,” it added.