On the occasion of World Toilet Day on 19th November 2018, Centre for Policy Research (CPR) in collaboration with Vidya Bhawan Society organised a seminar on 'Sustainable Water Resource and Sanitation Management' in Udaipur. This was the 16th seminar in the Community of Research and Practices seminar series organised by the SCI-FI project.
This seminar was attended by researchers, practitioners, CSOs, and private partners including representatives from Udaipur Municipal Corporation, Urban Improvement Trust and Town Planning Department.
The seminar had two thematic sessions. The first session focused on safe sanitation and waste water reuse. Neelima Khetan, Group CSR Head for Vedanta Resources, Vice President, CSR, Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) highlighted that the strength of corporates lies in managing waste water and partnering with competent bodies. This can be leveraged to build capacities of Urban Local Bodies through strategic interface of private partners, government, civil society actors, and community stakeholders. She emphasised on the fact that corporates can strengthen ties with the grassroot community. Considering that Udaipur has a high dependence on on-site sanitation system, Ambarish Karunanithi, Senior Research Associate, CPR emphasised on the need for sustainable solution for non-sewered networks in Udaipur. He also discussed about the partnership with HZL to support Udaipur Municipal Corporation (UMC) to improve sanitation systems in Udaipur. Abhinav Kumar, Research Associate from Vidya Bhawan Society sighted that norms and beliefs play a critical role in determining sanitation choices of the household. He stated access to toilet is not the same as access to sanitation, taking in account the sanitation market scenario in particular. Anju Dwivedi, Senior Researcher, CPR highlighted the need to involve community to improve urban sanitation.
In the second session titled 'Sustainable Urban Water Management', Dr Anil Mehta, Principal, Vidya Bhawan Polytechnic presented on Integrated Water Resource Management in Udaipur. He defined Integrated Water Resource Management as a mechanism that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner. Dr PK Singh, Professor, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology shared lessons of empowering communities through participatory Ground water management at village level through Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustainable Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention (MARVI) project. Drawing lessons from the rural landscape, he focused on participatory water shed management and hoped this model can be upscaled in the urban context as well.