LUCKNOW Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – The Government of Uttar Pradesh launched a unique new initiative on Wednesday to address water issues in the Hindon River, which is a second-level tributary of the River Ganga. The Chief Secretary of the UP Government, Shri Anup Chandra Pandey inaugurated a Multi Stakeholder Platform (MSP) involving Government, private sector, civil society, academia as well as international representatives to catalyze collective action for rejuvenation of this dying river. He acknowledged the need for a participatory approach to tributary governance by saying: “I am positive to see such strong interest of stakeholders to work together to resolve the key water management issues in the Hindon basin.” The Chief Secretary charted the way forward through collaboration between government departments, private and public actors and stakeholder engagement and commended good practices for replication and scale up.
The State Government is committed to a long-term tributary management program which is coordinated under the State Mission for Clean Ganga, because cleaning rivers requires continuous and coordinated action.
At this first Steering Board meeting of this Multi-Stakeholder Platform which has been set up as per Government Order issued in February 2019 with support from 2030 Water Resources Group, key decisions to ensure effective monitoring and to take coordinated actions were taken. Working Groups with public and private co-leadership were formed. International and local experts opined on new approaches, models and technologies to accelerate rejuvenation of the Hindon. The Government of India and Govt of Uttar Pradesh are placing emphasis on rejuvenation of tributaries of River Ganga. Collective action by all stakeholders was identified as key to ensuring sustainable rejuvenation of Hindon river basin.
Preceding the Steering Board meeting, 70 representatives including State Government’s Department of Minor Irrigation, Agriculture, Industries & UP Pollution Control Board, NABARD, International Organizations like India EU Water Partnership (IEWP), German International Cooperation (GIZ), UNIDO, Worldbank and various country representatives, leading private sector corporations, civil society organisations and academia had detailed discussions on key water management issues. The discussions were led by Principal Secretary Urban Development Department and Clean Ganga, Sri Manoj Kumar Singh, who is championing this initiative.
The meeting also saw presence and support from Israeli delegation and active participation from Hungary and Netherlands Embassies, showing great commitment to Hindon. The Israeli delegation was led by the Mr. Barak Granot, Consul Head of Economic and Trade Mission. Apart from all the relevant government ministries on this MSP, the honorable Chief Secretary acknowledged the strong presence of private sector which was represented by FICCI, MSME Foundation, UP Sugar Mills Association, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), etc. Key private sector companies include HCL, ITC, Mahindra, Tata Sons, DCM Shriram, etc. There was also a strong participation from UChicago – Tata Centre for Development, as well as Civil Society Organizations represented by WWF-India, INTACH, India Water Partnership, etc.
During the Steering Board meeting, the MSP was officially launched with appointment of the Steering Board, core expert group members, and chairs of Working Groups. The River Basin Management Cycle (RBM) and the Key Water Management Issues were discussed (KWMI). A pathway for the next 6 months with pilot programs for early action were agreed upon. Several synergies were identified and work will commence with collaborative efforts from all the relevant stakeholders. The meeting also led to formalization of working groups under the MSP with representation from GoUP, Private Sector, Civil Society and Academia. Detailed follow-up meetings will be held subsequently. Inputs from this meeting will go towards finalizing a Vision Document for the Hindon Basin and Tributary Management Approach.
The Chief Secretary appreciated 2030 WRG’s efforts to put together the MSP under the guidance of Principal Secretary – Urban Development Department and advised a follow up meeting in 6 months.