Pre-Budget Meet: Experts Suggest Steps To Tackle Roadblocks In Sanitation, Hygiene
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference, in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

Pre-Budget Meet: Experts Suggest Steps To Tackle Roadblocks In Sanitation, Hygiene

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Experts from water and sanitation sectors on Monday came up with multiple suggestions to address the challenges pertaining to water conservation, waste management, among others, during their meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Sitharaman, who would be presenting her second Budget of Modi: 2.0 in February, is holding pre-budget consultations with different stakeholders in the economy.

During the 9th Pre-Budget Consultation meeting, discussions were held on challenges faced in providing quality of water, sanitation, solid waste management and drainage in India, said an official release.

“Experts also talked about removing disparities in accessing sanitation and quality of water,” said the release issued after the meeting.

"Experts felt there is a need to scale up rural sanitation and hygiene besides providing sustainable solutions to water scarcity and health issues," it said.

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Some of the major suggestions given by them include community water management programme in urban areas, waste conservation, and maintenance of septic tank.

The representatives apprised the Finance Minister of ground realities and gave many suggestions to tackle current challenges.

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Suggestions were related to areas decentralisation of waste management system; focus on waste conservation; a bottom's up approach for effective implementation of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme; demand side management for water allocation; focus on behaviour change communication; and region-specific differentiated best practices/model.

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian, Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Chandra Mody and NITI Aayog member VK Paul also attended the meeting.

Besides, secretaries from various ministries were present at the meeting.

Among the experts were: Arumugam Pillai Kalimuthu, Managing Trustee, WASH Institute; Bin Chacko, Manager, Government Relations, World Vision India; Jyoti Sharma, President, FORCE; Manoj Ramchandra Sable, chief executive officer, JAAGAR Enterprises; and Shaonli Chakraborty, Swasti, (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene).

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VK Madhavan, CEO, Water Aid India; Sajeev S Jha, Programme Manager, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and Chandrakant Lahariya, National Professional Officer (Health Care, Access and Protection) to represent World Health Organization India and Nicolas Osbert, Chief Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Section, UNICEF, too were present.

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