Friday, September 17, 2021

Namami Gange: MoU inked to enhance capacity building hubs on Integrated River Basin Management

A source of the lifeline of several civilizations, Indian major rivers namely the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra supports India’s population. The Ganga, which stretches for about 2,525 kilometres (km), is the longest river in India and constitutes India’s 26% landmass. The government of India is constantly working towards improving the extent, quality and accessibility of water resources information and hence, the empowered body of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti is dedicatedly working towards capacity building activities. Aligning with this, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been inked between NMCG and SAIARD (South Asian Institute for Advanced Research and Development) to build an academic platform to engage young students as well as develop a research and capacity building hub in order to support regional development in the eastern region.

What are the areas of collaboration?

In order to create and enhance the capacity building hub on integrated river basin management, both NMCG and SAIARD will collaborate together on the project with a special focus on geospatial technology in riverine ecosystems. Apart from this, the project also intends to focus on a variety of areas including:

– Rejuvenation of river: Conducting studies pertaining to diverse areas related to integrated river basin management with the focus on water management, waste-water and integrated urban water management for the development of sustainable practices for rejuvenation of river and water systems.

– Decision Making: Extending support in policy-making for the development of riverine areas and river sensitive urban planning

– The project will provide support in the preparation of the river database

– Geospatial Technology: Developing a capacity building programme on geospatial technology to extend support towards internship and research. The project also lays emphasis on the development of a dedicated GIS application-based river research centre in the eastern and north-eastern region

– The project will also help in building a digital river library, river museum and online news portal

Using Geospatial Technology:

National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a part of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been assisting NMCG in using geospatial technologies for various activities including, monitoring and regulating the regulatory zone along the banks of the river, attaining high-resolution maps and data for the river basin etc. with the aim to achieve the objective of monitoring the pollution in river Ganga. Over the years, key platforms and solutions have been developed to support a robust Resources Management System. Along with this, now the aim of NMCG extends to GIS technology to map the entire Ganga river basin for effective execution and decision-making.

MoU to enhance capacity building hubs

Additionally, an MoU was also inked between NIUA (National Institute of Urban Affairs) and SAIARD wherein NIUA will take a lead in implementing various capacity building activities which includes:

– The development and sharing of knowledge products for mainstreaming climate resilience;
– Providing handholding support for formulating, implementing & performance monitoring of strategies and actions plan under Climate-Smart Cities Assessment Framework;
– Development and implementation of innovative practices, data and technology frameworks for addressing climate impact in cities;
– Collaboratively working towards urban climate resilience

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