Sustainable water supply and sanitation is a critical area in India’s urbanisation drive. Various national initiatives are currently underway to tackle the current challenges in water scarcity, the impact of climate change and adaptation, the increasing demand in providing quality water and effective sanitation for the billions of inhabitants.
Nispana, in association with CDD Society, India, successfully launched the third national summit--Sustainable Water & Sanitation 2018--at the Sheraton Grand, Bengaluru today. The two-day summit was inaugurated by the minister of municipal administration Eshwara Khandre in the presence of Anjum Parvez, the secretary of the Urban Development Department; Dr Sreedevi, the director of municipal administration, government of Telangana; Thiru Prakash Govindsamy, the director of municipal administration, government of Tamilnadu and other distinguished guests and personalities.
Municipal commissioners, mayors and senior officials from various states were part of this gathering. The two-day forum was supported by the Swacchh Bharath Mission, AMRUT and the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, government of India. ARGHYAM was the gold partner while The NFSSM Alliance was featured as partner; the Bangalore Urban Water Supply & Sewerage Board (BWSSB) & the Hyderabad Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) were the State Jal Board Partners. SATO featured as the sanitation partners; Kamstrup Metering Solutions was smart metering partner while Shubam Aqualink and Tata Projects were featured as associate partners. The bag sponsors were Sepcon Systems while TUV Rheinland are the Lineyard sponsors.
While speaking at the inaugural session, Khandre emphasised the need for effective water resource management and also the initiatives towards faecal sludge management in Karnataka. He announced sanctions by Karnataka towards this sector. He also visited the exhibition stalls and interacted with speakers and delegates.
Some of the most vibrant NGOs and organisations working closely with the water and sanitation sector in India like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), DASRA WaterAid, Sydney Water, Tamilnadu Water Investment Company, ASCI, CEPT University, IIHS, GVMC and more were part of the meet. Over 300 participants attended the summit from more than 65 cities, towns and water and sanitation boards from across India. The participants also took the Swacchta pledge to promote cleanliness and move towards a cleaner India.
The summit hosted more than 30 speakers who came up with visionary presentations and excellent case studies and joined in the interactive panel discussions. This brought out meaningful debates and deliberations. The summit was also an excellent platform for all the municipalities to interact, network, share, innovate and ideate. The highlights of the opening day was an excellent case study on water harvesting presented by Dr Rajendra Singh (Waterman of India) and an interesting keynote from Ravi Narayanan, the chairman of Asia Pacific Water Forum.
The second day focused on sustainable sanitation and faecal sludge management starting with a presentation by Madhu Krishna, country head, WASH, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) along with state of the art case studies by Utkarsha Kavadi from the AIILSG. These were followed by an interactive discussion moderated by Krishnan Hariharan from DASRA and a panel discussion on groundwater and sanitation moderated by prof Vishwanath from BIOME. Both these interactive sessions saw huge participation from the attending delegates. A special field trip to the Devanahalli sewage treatment plant was also arranged for interested participants.
The summit ended on a high note while setting huge expectation for the next edition. Furthermore, the proceedings of the summit will be shared to all relevant government and regulatory authorities and participants to implement the learning of this programme.