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GANGA - A Multi Stakeholder Approach

February, 2015

Urban Development

Climate change has emerged as one of the most critical factors for global economic growth and is no longer just one of the many environmental and policy concerns for the world today. The world is talking about how climate is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators.

Shifting weather patterns are threatening food production and countries are at high risk with extreme weather events like floods, cyclones, cloudbursts, unseasonal excessive rains and drought. These pressing threats to development need immediate attention, especially in India which is just awakening from economic hibernation. Immediately after the Government announced its river cleaning plan.

YES BANK along with TERI decided to bring out insights on how successful implementation would result in economic prosperity, employment generation, water accessibility, speedy surface transport via waterways and growth of tourism and allied sectors. In our quest to catalyse sustainable development, after an extensive stakeholder consultation, we have released this white paper on ‘Ganga: An Inclusive Multi-Stakeholder Approach'. The Holy Ganga that flows 2525 kms across the 5 major states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal poses a huge opportunity, if rejuvenated in a collaborative manner.

Rejuvenating the Ganga is not the responsibility of the Government alone; but it calls for nationwide actions including individuals, communities, research organizations and Indian Industry. The National Mission to Clean Ganga activated along with the sanction of INR 2,037 crores for 'Namami Gange' for this year alone, has resulted in renewed momentum that should be utilized to create a framework and instill processes to align community, business and policy objectives, across central, state and district levels.

The white paper highlights how such a framework would bring all stakeholders, right from senior government officials to river boatmen, together to bring about highly effective ecosystem resilience that would address environmental, ecological and anthropological aspects. It further addresses how a robust decision making paradigm and public private partnership financial models can have the potential to spearhead the spirit of enterprise at a very local level boosting local employment opportunities.

The attempt is to bring out new perspectives on financial management methods, structured public private partnerships that can create effective solutions to cleaning the fifth most polluted river in the world. The present Government's resolve to clean Ganga is noteworthy and it is our effort through this white paper to provide thought leadership and suggest ways for inclusive and robust decision making processes for the Gangabasin area.

This white paper on ‘Ganga: An Inclusive Multi-Stakeholder Approach’ would serve as an important manuscript to Policy makers, Industry and all those involved in implementation of cleaning the Ganga, controlling pollution, achieving water conservation thus contributing to environmental sustainability.