In the month of November,2021, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, launched a platform known as the River Cities Alliance for river cities in India to discuss, ideate and exchange information with the aim for sustainable management of urban rivers. Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry and Jal Shakti Ministry have collaborated for this first alliance which is a first of its kind in the world.
The Alliance is a platform for Indian River Cities to discuss, envision and exchange information on the sustainable management of urban rivers. The National Mission for Clean Ganga and the National Institute for Urban Affairs jointly formed the River Cities Alliance. The Secretariat is established at the National Institute for Urban Affairs with support from NMCG.
The River Cities Alliance focuses on three themes: technical support, networking and capacity building.
Aurangabad, Ayodhya, Bagusarai, Bhagalpur, Berhampore, Bijnor, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Srinagar, Haridwar, Hooghly-Chinsurah, Munger, Howrah, Patna, Jangipur, Maheshtala, Farrukhabad, Rajmahal, Kanpur, Sahibganj, Prayagraj, Mathura-Vrindavan, Pune, Mirzapur, Vijayawada, Varanasi and Udaipur.
Significance of River Cities Alliance
The River Cities Alliance plays an important role in connecting cities and rivers. The alliance can be a model for all cities inside and outside the basin. This initiative will help cities learn from each other’s successes and failures. The River Cities Alliance enables city governments and their teams to take innovative initiatives. The alliance began in cities in the Ganges basin and expanded to cities outside the basin. As part of the Alliances, participating cities have the opportunity to strengthen the governance aspects of river cities and improve their quality of life. This partnership will help these cities attract external business investment, access cutting-edge frameworks and knowledge, and serve as a place for NMCG and NIUA implementation demonstration purposes.
Objectives of River Cities Alliance
The main goal of the Alliance is to help participating cities create a platform for discussion and information exchange on aspects which are essential for the sustainable management of various urban rivers. These aspects include mitigating impacts on rivers and water bodies, minimizing the water footprint, utilizing natural and intangible architectural heritage, and developing self-sufficient water resources through reuse and recycling strategies. Participating cities of the alliance will localize and adopt national strategies and tools with important river-related directions, develop city-specific sector strategies for sustainable urban river management and will endeavour to formulate a management plan.