Corporates are giving a big miss to Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission

The Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh releasing a publication at the inauguration of the Indovation-III for Drinking Water and Sanitation technologies, in New Delhi on July 02, 2015. The Minister of State for Drinking Water & Sanitation, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav and other dignitaries are also seen.
Corporates are giving a big miss to Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission, says Birender Singh 

The Centre today said that State Governments are free to choose and adopt technologies approved by it to solve the problems of drinking water contamination and for to construction of cost effective toilets in the rural areas.
Addressing a workshop here on the subject, Rural Development Minister and the Minister of Drinking water and sanitation, Shri Birender Singh said that more than 54 technologies have been approved so far by the Technology Expert Committee of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He urged the states to adopt them as per the local needs on a priority basis as they are affordable, scalable, sustainable and socially acceptable. But Shri Singh cautioned that merely achieving the physical target to make the country open Defecation Free by 2019 will not help in achieving the dream of the Prime Minister. He added that the newly built toilets must remain operational and sustainable. The Minister also lamented the fact that Corporate sector is not coming forward nor showing any dedication to build toilets in the rural areas and whatever is being done is done in a piece meal fashion. He also exhorted the NGOs to participate in the clean India Mission with renewed zeal and assured them all support in this regard. 

The Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav said that even after 68 years of Independence, more than 60 percent people in the country indulge in open defecation. He said this is not only shameful but this is also a big health hazard for the rural people particularly the children as drinking water gets contaminated. He said, women suffer more due to the absence of toilets in the rural areas and it is also directly linked with their security as most of the incidents of the rape happen when women go for open defecation. The Minister called for making swachhta that is cleanliness a people’s movement and laid stress on creating mass awareness for this. 

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Vijay Luxmi Joshi said that 7 crore toilets have to be built by 2nd October 2019, which she said is not a big challenge but the usage of the toilets is certainly a very big issue and for this mindset has to be changed. She said, another big challenge is that 85 percent of water used is from the groundwater which is getting slowly dried up and also getting contaminated and all should work together to reverse this trend. She informed that still more than 64,000 habitations in the country have the problem of water contamination and the technology is the only key to rectify the same. She also invited the corporate sector to avail the business opportunity in the areas of toilet and sanitary wares as huge number of toilets will be built in the next four years. 

Dr R.A.Mashelkar, former DG, CSIR and the Chairman of the Technology Expert Committee of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation said in his address that rapidly deployable cost effective technology is the need of the hour and he urged the stakeholders to participate in this mission with renewed zeal vigour. He said, Center had already approved more than 50 cost-effective technologies to tackle the problem of the water contamination and sanitation at the village level, but the challenge is to deploy them in a fast pace mode. Dr Mashelkar said, for recycling of the waste, not only Best Practice but the Next Practice should be adopted. 

The event also saw the inauguration of an Exhibition by Shri Birender Singh, where the experts and scientists are demonstrating affordable technologies to tackle the problem of water contamination and for construction of low cost toilets. 


Shri Nitin Gadkari chairs review meeting of the Sagarmala initiative 

Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, today chaired a review meeting of the Sagarmala initiative. “Sagarmala” is an initiative of the Government of India, with the objective of promoting “Port-led development” along India’s 7500 km long coastline. The Union Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as the nodal ministry for this initiative. 

The meeting was attended by Shri. Rajive Kumar, Secretary Shipping and other senior officials from the Ministry of Shipping. The meeting also included a presentation by the consultants, who have been appointed for carrying out the National Perspective Plan Study as part of the Sagarmala initiative. 

The meeting covered the possible actions to be taken for achieving the objectives of overall logistics cost reduction using water-ways and “port-led development” in the country. Topics discussed included the potential for developing a world-class Transshipment port in India and promoting the usage of coastal shipping and inland waterways for transporting key commodities like coal, iron-ore, food-grains and petroleum products between the origin and the destination. The Minister highlighted the importance for de-congesting the road and rail network in India by using inland waterways and coastal shipping and the economic and environmental benefits from the same. 

The meeting also covered the timelines for developing a masterplan for the capacity expansion in the existing major ports and creation of new ports with the objective of coast and logistics optimization. The Minister highlighted the direct and indirect socio-economic benefits to the coastal regions by developing the Indian ports and maritime sector. 


Urban Development Minister, Shri Venkaiah Naidu Addresses Top Business Leaders 

July 1, 2015 – Washington D.C. -   U.S. industry executives from the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) met with the Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu, to discuss opportunities in the recently launched schemes of the Government of India that will have a significant impact on India’s urban development for the next few years.

Minister Naidu engaged with members on a range of topics, including the Smart Cities Programme, reforms undertaken by the Government of India to improve the Ease of Doing Business, prospective passage of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Land Acquisition Bill.

Speaking about the resurgence of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister Naidu said that “India is fast transforming itself in every sphere of public life. The economy is back on rails, inflation is under control, and growth rate is at 7.3% and likely to cross 8% in the coming years”. He noted that the Indian Parliament had passed a record number of 47 legislations in the past year, including some that had been pending for a long time, like the increase in FDI cap in insurance sector.

Minister Naidu outlined various initiatives of the government including the Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and Clean India programmes. He also highlighted efforts to build a partnership between the Centre and the States to move forward on reforms like the GST. He noted that the Government is linking bank accounts with the unique ID and mobile telephones to stop leakage in subsidies. It is focusing on greater transparency and accountability. He emphasized the human face of reforms, including social security schemes and affordable housing.  

Noting that India has prioritized the creation of 100 smart cities, which will incorporate the use of solar energy, rain water harvesting, good sanitation, drinking water and smart public transportation, Minister Naidu explained the recent guidelines for selection of smart cities, financing infrastructure development and incentives for private sector participation. Expressing appreciation for the U.S. support for smart city development of Ajmer, Allahabad and Vishakhapatnam, he urged the U.S. businessmen to take advantage of the business friendly atmosphere and the great investment opportunities in India, and invited them to invest in smart cities and AMRUT projects.

“American enterprise is eager to participate and deepen its commercial dialogue through the 100 Smart Cities initiative launched by Prime Minister Modi and led by Minister Naidu. In his role as Parliamentarian, investors are confident that, under Minister Naidu’s leadership, the monsoon session of the Parliament will continue progress toward economic and regulatory reforms that are key to India’s economic progress,” said Purna Saggurti, Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and a member of USIBC’s Board of Directors.

Expressing hope and optimism in Minister Naidu’s vision, USIBC President, Mukesh Aghi said, “Flagship programs such as Smart Cities, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All reflect the Indian government’s dedication to innovation and technology, while not overlooking the urgent need to provide all citizens with access to basic necessities such as sanitation, water, power and means to earning a livelihood. Reforms in taxation and land acquisition remain central to the success of these schemes.”

Lauding Minister Naidu’s progress with the Smart Cities Initiative, Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu, CEO of Vital Springs said, “There are immense opportunities for innovation in India’s digital space. Smart cities will be the transformation India has been waiting for. Healthcare is at the nexus of this new digital economy that can expand the reach of quality care.”

Minister Naidu interacted with USIBC members and answered their queries. Representatives of many top US based business houses, who were present in the round table discussions, expressed keen interest in India. Prominent among them were, iTECH, IBM, Honeywell, Genworth, UTC, AECOM, Tyco, Systems Soft, Apple, AT&T, Dell, Qualcom, Cognizant, Capital Novus, Moody's, Bank of America, McLarty Associates, etc.

Corporates are giving a big miss to Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission Corporates are giving a big miss to Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 9:18 AM Rating: 5

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