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Union Jal Shakti Minister Delivers Keynote Address At Panel Discussion On Namami Gange At UN Water Conference In New York

New York:25/3/23:Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat delivered the keynote address at a panel discussion on ‘Namami Gange – an integrated and holistic approach towards conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga and its ecosystem’ organised by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) during the UN Water Conference 2023 at United Nations Headquarter, New York on 23rd March 2023.

Delivering the keynote address, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat asserted “NMCG has successfully created a robust sewerage treatment infrastructure across cities and towns along the Ganges resulting in improved water quality and biodiversity. The sightings of Gangetic Dolphin, Turtles and Hilsa fish have increased indicating the improved health.” He added that Namami Gange Mission was recognized as one of the world’s top 10 ecosystem restoration flagships at a function in the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada on 14th December 2022, the World Restoration Day.

Shri Shekhawat said Ganga has a special place in Indian context as it is a holy and pristine river and caters to 43% of the population and form around 23% of the geographical area and Namami Gange Mission was launched in 2014 under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in view of the deteriorating health of River Ganga and its ecosystem due to urbanization on its banks. He stated “Namami Gange Mission was launched with a mandate and vision for restoring Nirmalta and Aviralta of River Ganga. Furthermore, the aim is to not just restore Ganga to its pristine glory, but also help the local population connect with its traditional wisdom,”.

Shri Shekhawat said that India has commitment investments of more than 240 billion dollars in the water sector and is also implementing the largest dam rehabilitation programme in the world as well as efforts to restore the groundwater situation in the country. Shri Shekhawat emphasized the importance of public participation in making Namami Gange a success and acknowledged the contribution of the local people living on the banks of the river, who came together to make the Namami Gange Programme a success. “With millions of people connecting and interacting with the riverine ecosystem, there has been a massive surge in awareness on river related issues,” he said

H.E. Magnus Heunicke, Minister for Environment, Denmark remarked that water is of utmost importance for millions of people for their health, economy, ecosystem, biodiversity, culture, history, and religion. He spoke about the cooperation between India and Denmark on sustainable and reliable water and green agenda. “Water is a source of life, but it is also essential to the quality of life. Partnership with India is more than just technology, it is about cities, communities, access to clean water and creating a world that is better and more sustainable”, he noted.

Giving an overview of the Namami Gange Programme, Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga expressed his privilege to speak about one of India’s flagship programmes, which has now become one of the flagship programmes of the World. DG, NMCG mentioned the five important pillars of Namami Gange Programme – Nirmal Ganga (unpolluted river), Aviral Ganga (unrestricted flow), Jan Ganga (People’s Participation), Gyan Ganga (knowledge and research based interventions) and Arth Ganga (people-river connect through the bridge of economy)

A book titled “Ripples: India’s Sustainable Water Management Story” which covers ongoing efforts of Indian government to manage water in sustainable and equitable ways, and provides a snapshot of major policies, schemes and missions that India has adopted over the last 2 decades was also released during the session.

Other key panelists were Minister for Environment, Denmark, H.E. Magnus Heunicke, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Mr. G. Asok Kumar, Special Water Envoy, Netherland, Mr. Henk Ovink, Global Director, Global Water Practice, World Bank, Mr. Saroj Jha, Deputy Director, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr. Tania Vorwerk and Executive Secretary, ICPDR, Ms. Birgit Vogel. Mr. D.P. Mathuria, Executive Director (Technical), NMCG moderated the event.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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