Workshop on Law & Policy for the Restoration of Ganga

June 12, 2015 New Delhi
OverviewLead DiscussantsProgramme AgendaGallery

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) and the Oval Observer Foundation in collaboration with PLR Chambers and Luthra & Luthra Law Offices are hosting an interactive session to present and discuss the legal and policy approaches that may be adopted to address the rejuvenation and restoration of River Ganga.

BACKGROUND TO IITC+

IITC+ (IITC plus) is a multi-stakeholder group operating under the banner of IITC (Consortium of 7 Indian Institutes of Technology – IITs) that has prepared the Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP). The IITC, led by IIT Kanpur, formed a group to seek best in class inputs from a wide range of Indian and international subject matter experts. With contributions from international experts and bodies, IITC+ has also created an extension in January 2015 known as “IITC+ International”. Working groups have been constituted to provide feedback on the plan already developed as well as to provide inputs for amendments and/or bridging gaps. The Oval Observer Foundation, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices and PLR Chambers are members of IITC+.

LAW & POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE GANGA RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT PLAN

IIT-C received a mandate from the Government of India in 2010 to develop an action plan for the restoration of the Ganga River Basin. In furtherance of the same, the Consortia has developed the basic framework for the institution that must be created to address multifarious issues involved in the cleaning of Ganga.

The IIT Consortia has developed a structure for the institution in the form of a Bill titled, The National River Ganga Basin Management Bill, 2013 (Bill). The Bill proposes the establishment of National River Ganga Basin Management Commission (Commission) and National River Ganga Basin Tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of matters affecting the River Basin with the objective of restoring the health of the Ganga River Basin.

The Commission envisaged in the Bill will be tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the health of the Ganga River Basin through various policy approaches. To this extent, it has been suggested that the Commission will comprise of the following departments for the efficient discharge of its duties.

  •  Information and Communication Wing
  •  Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment Wing
  •  Investigation Wing
  •  Research and Development Wing
  •  Policy, Planning and Advocacy Wing

In addition to the aforementioned departments, the Commission has also been empowered to form regional and specialized units under each of the wings as may be necessary from time to time. Broadly, the Commission’s duties and responsibilities include:

  •  Formulating strategies, plans, and programs for executing the objectives laid down in the Act.
  •  Strengthening Centre-State Coordination for conservation and development of the Ganga River Basin
  •  Manage and monitor the work of separate wings formed under the Commission
  •  Initiate investigations on alleged contraventions of the provisions laid down in the Act and issue orders and directions as it may deem fit.

To ensure a speedy disposition of appeals against the orders issued by the Commission, the Bill also envisages establishment of tribunal, The National River Ganga Basin Tribunal (Tribunal). The Tribunal will be presided by a Chairperson, who shall be an acting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India along with another judicial member and subject matters experts in the field of law, public affairs, environmental matters and science and technology.

The aforementioned structure has been prescribed and designed specifically to address the mission goals identified by IIT-C+ in its report. In this regard, the broad objectives to be executed by the Commission through policy and legal interventions are as follows:

  • “Aviral Dhara”- Continuous flow in time and space including maintenance of connectivity of flow in the river systems.
  • “Nirmal Dhara”- Un-polluted flow so that the quality of river waters isn’t affected significantly by human activities.
  • Conservation and restoration of the river basin recognizing that the river is a geological entity and is essential for maintaining the ecological balance between various species that exist and rely on the basin in order to ensure that the damage caused to basin is not irreversible and irreplaceable.

The workshop is structured so as to address two critical areas:

  •  Assessing the Efficacy of the Legislative Framework prepared by IIT-C+
  •  Evaluating the Robustness of Policy Interventions envisaged in the Bill.

Dr. Vinod Tare, Professor, IIT Kanpur

Dr Vinod Tare is a Professor of Environmental Engineering and Management at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and holds Sir M Visvesveriah Chair Professor instituted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. He is a Civil Engineer, obtained his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Environmental Engineering from IIT Kanpur, and subsequently did post doctoral research at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Dr Tare has guided numerous masters’ and doctoral dissertations. He was the Chairman of the India Water Impact Summit 2013 held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi and International Conference on Water – Harvesting, Storage and Conservation (WHSC-2009). Dr Tare is consultant/advisor to many government organizations, NGOs, Industries, and Institutions. He has developed environment-friendly passenger coach toilet system being deployed for Indian Railways, communities, house boats, KumbhMela, etc. Dr Tare is presently leading consortia of seven IITs for the preparation of Ganga River Basin Management Plan, which has been submitted to the National Ganga River Basin Authority chaired by the Prime Minister.

Dr. Indrajit Dube, Professor, IIT-Kharagpur

Dr. Dube is presently working as Associate Professor in the Rajiv Gandhi School of
Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur. Corporate Laws and Environmental Governance are the areas of specialization of Dr. Indrajit Dube. He has number of books, numerous articles and conference papers to his credit. Dr. Dube has to his credit research projects funded by different Ministries of Government of India, World Bank and other international agencies. Dr. Dube is also an academic member of the European Corporate Governance Institute.  He has been serving as the PrincipalInvestigator for the Policy, Law & Governance aspect of the Ganga River Basin Management Plan.

1330 hrs Registrations
1400 hrs Welcome Address
IIT-Kanpur, Oval Observer Foundation
1410 hrs The Mission Goals for Restoring the Wholesomeness of the Ganga River Basin
Dr. Vinod Tare, IIT-Kanpur
Coordinator, Consortium of 7 IITs on Ganga River Basin Management Plan
1450 hrs The Legislative and Policy Framework for Restoration of the Ganga River Basin
Dr. Indrajit Dube, IIT-Kharagpur
Legal Expert, Consortium of 7 IITs on Ganga River Basin Management Plan and Author of the National River Ganga Basin Management Bill, 2013
1600 hrs Open Q&A
Moderated by Sanmit Ahuja, Vice Chairman, Oval Observer Foundation
1700 hrs Release of National River Ganga Basin Management Bill
- Vinod Tare, IIT-Kanpur
- Indrajit Dube, IIT-Kharagpur
- Sanmit Ahuja, Oval Observer Foundation
1710 hrs High-Tea & Networking Reception

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