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  • DSDS 2005: Important issues like water supply health and hygiene, green house effect and its climatic consequences discussed - Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Jairam Ramesh, Dr Parthasarthy Shome shared their valuble thoughts on day two of DSDS 2005

    4 February 2005

    The day two of the Fifth Annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS 2005) witnessed high profile speakers sharing their views on some of the very tropical and vital issues such as prospects for India in a global context, water supply health and hygiene and the greenhouse effect and its climate change consequences.

    DSDS 2005 on day two observed valuable comments of the prominent speakers like Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Mr Jairam Ramesh, Dr Parthasarthy Shome, advisor to the Finance minister, Mr A Raja Minister for Environment and Forests Govt. of India, Mr Digvijay Singh, Former Chief Minister Madhya Pradesh and Mr Sanjeev Gupta President and CEO Coca-Cola India.

    "India in a global context" one of the plenary session on day two had three pivotal concerns of the session, which were i) price and economic incentives for sustainability ii) the need to increase public investment in education and health iii) pursuit of a decentralized delivery mechanism.

    "In this country, we have been focusing on poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and globalization, but for a long time it was in compartmentalized areas. What is happening now is that the way policy issues are addressed, they operationalize in all these areas together" said Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Hon'ble Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, New Delhi while delivering his keynote address on India in a global context during the morning plenary session.

    Dr Parthasarathy Shome, Advisor to the Finance Minister, Ministry of Finance, during his address on India in a Global context said "The 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution gave very specific powers to panchayats and municipalities... the government did attempt to decentralize decision making powers. Research shows that decentralized expenditure is more effective. But the issue is how it is delivered."

    During the ministerial session on Sectoral Linkages in attaining Sustainability the panelists agreed on the fact that the challenge of achieving Sustainable Development before the global community is daunting. However, to accomplish these targets, strong inter-linkages are required between different sectors nationally as well as internationally.

    Mr A Raja, Hon'ble Minister for Environment & Forests, Govt. of India said while addressing the ministerial session on Sectoral Linkages in attaining Sustainability "The partnership between the environment ministry and TERI is symbolic of the alliances needed to energize the protection of our planet."

    "How can you meet the education target if young women are looking for water in one half of the day and for wood in the other half?" Mr Børge Brende, Hon'ble Minister for Trade and Industry, Norway said while addressing the ministerial session during the DSDS 2005.

    While addressing the summit Mr Digvijay Singh, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh pointed out the importance of water and said "Water has been the source around which civilizations have come up. Water is the key issue around which development goals should focus. The strategy should be to preserve water where it falls."

    Water supply, health, and hygiene are key to ensuring health benefits to communities. There is a need to enhance the current approach to water and sanitation programmes to one that looks beyond delivering a service - at creating an impact in the community. There is a need to empower local institutions and ensure community ownership of water supply and sanitation schemes. The government's role must shift from implementation to facilitation and regulation - helping the community manages its own water supplies. Addressing these issues during the DSDS 2005 Dr Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, TERI, said "The key challenge is of managing a sizeable investment because we have a high level of costs and because water consumption does not pay in itself."

    Mr Sanjiv Gupta, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India while addressing the summit said "India has ample sources of water - the challenge is not 'inadequate' supply but 'uneven' supply."

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