Asia

Government urges industries to adopt small rivers and rejuvenate them

NEW DELHI: Underlining the role the corporate sector could play in water management, water resources secretary UP Singh on Friday said industry (private or public sector) could adopt small rivers and work to rejuvenate them.
Though Tata Projects Limited has been involved with rejuvenating the entire stretch of the Dravyavati river in Rajasthan, the work was awarded to this private company for execution by the Jaipur development authority. Its not a case of adoption as part of corporate social responsibility.
Singh was speaking at the India Industry Water Conclave, organised by industry body Ficci. His remarks come at a time when the Centre has been urging stakeholders to get involved in managing water as this gigantic task cannot be done by the government alone.
Experts, however, cautioned against handing over rivers to private players. “Asking industries to adopt rivers is both welcome and risky. Welcome when the industry in question is well meaning and driven with a greater purpose, and highly risky when the adoption is seen as an opportunity to create entitlements where none exist today,” said Manoj Misra, convener of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan. He, however, said it was a “good thought which needs careful execution”.
Another expert, Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), on the other hand, said privatisation of rivers should be avoided.
“Most importantly, to avoid privatisation of such rivers, we need to have a management committee for each such case in which over 50% members should be from local communities dependent on such rivers. The industry will have absolutely no rights directly or indirectly on the river. All this needs to be legally enforceable. Till this is achieved through a participatory way, this should not be implemented,” he said.
As far as rejuvenation of Dravyavati river, which flows through Jaipur city, is concerned, the Rs 1,676 crore project being executed by Tata ProjectRead More – Source