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Jun 2014

10:31 pm UTC

MUMBAI: Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models was the central theme as the ‘Water For All’ lab of the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) of the Sakal Media Group entered its fourth week in Mumbai.

Participants, including the State’s bureaucrats, water experts, corporate executives and NGO workers, swung into budget mode, preparing models to drive grassroot water projects in both rural and metropolitan areas.

The lab has been organised by the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) of the Sakal Media Group in collaboration with the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) of the Government of Malaysia, the Government of Maharashtra and the India Backbone Implementation Network (IBIN) of the Planning Commission of India supported by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies of the University of Mumbai.

It aims to make Maharashtra drought free in five years.

This week, experts and industry captains guided participants to script budgetary models for various water utility and conservation projects, focussing on critical regions of the State.

The participants are being guided to develop workable, single-platform, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models.

Speaking to Sakal Times at the University of Mumbai’s Kalina campus, where the water lab is being held, Hydro-geologist Dr Satish Umrikar, from the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) said, “Projects will only have a successful execution and implementation if they are properly funded. Funds will have to be supplemented from corporate giants and executed via PPP models by the State.”

According to Umrikar, grassroot projects are most effectively implemented when driven by the government and supported monetarily by the corporate sector.

Participants at the water lab also highlighted the need for active engagement with foreign investors like the World Bank, which could help with budget analysis and research and interaction with decision makers like the State government for effective execution on the ground.

Participants felt that it was important to get the complete support of politicians while executing grassroot projects. According to senior engineer Mahesh Patil, from the Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP), a united political understanding of both the ruling and opposition parties to bring about change in the State was the key to success.

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