New Delhi: India needs a water platform to unify stakeholders, said D. Thara, Joint Secretary and Mission Director (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation – AMRUT), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, at the Sustainable Urban WASH Forum organised by the Toilet Board Coalition. The Toilet Board Coalition India offered a virtual platform for discussion on an action agenda on the private sector, and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).
The Forum brought together a pioneering group of global companies and societal leaders who are shaping the future of sanitation in India. Businesses, investors, and sanitation leaders from across India were joined by an audience from across the world invested in the sanitation economy. The event was a platform for business, government, and societal leaders to learn about sanitation economy solutions for their sector, citizens, and development agendas.
Speaking at the event, D. Thara, said, “It is very important for capacities in the private sector to be augmented for any mission to succeed. Under AMRUT 2, 10 per cent of the city water action plans of million-plus cities should be coming from public-private partnerships (PPPs). From now on, States should work towards reusing at least 20 per cent of the treated water. This would tie up water consumers to the treated water through water markets. There should be a clear governance mechanism put in place even for the private sector to come in. We are focusing on getting 100 per cent water treated in 500 cities and ensuring that the untreated water does not enter water streams. The private sector can help cities in maximising their outcomes through minimal infrastructure. AMRUT 2 acknowledges that capacity building in the private sector is a critical need compared to the public sector. We are going to come with an India water platform, unifying all stakeholders on a common platform. We are also developing an app called AMRUTAM where water connections entered by contractors will be eligible for verification and funding.”
Venugopal Gupta, Director Accelerator & Investor Engagement, the Toilet Board Coalition, said, “The world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 of Clean Water and Sanitation – the progress is heartening but the pace needs to intensify. If this process needs to pick up pace, we will need a robust innovation pipeline, a friendly policy ecosystem, and widely accepted standards. Moreover, as we see in our accelerator programme, we need partnerships between SMEs and large corporates that can bring the best of innovation and scale and unlock systematic demand in attracting increased investor participation.”
The event also featured a panel discussion on High-Level WASH Business Ecosystemled by dignitaries such asAnandita Kakkar, Leader, Marketing – South Asia, SATO; Brandon Cheah, Investment Officer, Health & WASH, ResponsAbility; Bratin Roy, Sr Vice President, Industry Service, TUV SUD; R.K. Srinivasan, Senior Advisor, WASH, USAID; Nivedha R.M., Founder & CEO, Trashcon; Dr Sapna Poti – Director, Strategic Alliances, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India; Sai Pramodh, Senior Investment Manager, Caspian; Ulka Sadalkar, Founder, Ti Bus; and Simran Gill, Global Brand Manager, Domestos, Unilever.
The event concluded with closing remarks delivered by Rajeev Kher, Founder and Managing Director, Saraplast Pvt. Ltd.