GLOCAL: Finland, Netherlands to help MMRDA in rivers & waste management
MUMBAI — Going global to tackle local problems, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will get help from Finland to save the rivers and assistance from The Netherlands to curb waste in country’s financial capital and its vicinity, collectively known as ‘Mumbai Metropolitan Region’, officials said here on Friday.
Finland’s River Recycle Oy will guide the MMRDA to protect and improve the rivers in this urban centre housing more than 3 crore people, along with flood protection measures, environmental upgrading, climate resilience and climate change adaptation.
The Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management will collaborate with MMRDA for five years to handle waste-management and climate change for sustainable urban development.
The MMR, comprising Mumbai and parts of Thane, Palghar and Raigad has around 13 west-flowing (into Arabian Sea) rivers, their 21 tributaries, more than 430 natural lakes/ponds, 22 reservoirs, plus over 14,000 tubewells, borewells and hand-pumps to extract groundwater.
As per a 2015 MMRDA study, around 671.2 sq.km (15 per cent) of the MMR is covered with wetlands and water bodies of different kinds, bordering a 256-kms long coastline (of the state’s 720 total coastline) supporting nearly 200,000 fisherfolk.
Besides Finland and The Netherlands, the World Smart City Forum, United Kingdom, will help development of Smart City/Growth Centre led by a tech-oriented system in the MMR, and South Korea’s Samsung C&T will assist developing Smart City/Growth Centre by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the MMR.
Director-General for Enterprise & Innovation in The Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy Erwin Nijsse expressed hope that its partnership with MMRDA would have a long-term impact on the MMR’s environment by enforcing practices that complement climate resilience.
Major Dutch companies like SusBDE, Harvest Waste BV, Technimex, Hydraloop, Afvalzorg, Multriwell, Hofstetter, Indaver, Endwell, Blue Phoenix Group, Royal HaskoningDHV, Rebel Group, BrEAD BV, Metasus, Paques, Nijhuis Industries, Econvert Water & Energy, Colsen and Colubris Cleantech are expected to participate in various aspects of water and waste management in the MMR.
Finland’s River Recycle Oy will assist MMRDA in aspects like river protection & improvement, flood protection, rainwater absorption, environmental upgrading, climate resilience, and climate change adaptation in the MMR.
The partnership will also extend to the enhancement of the air quality index (AQI) and the establishment of urban sponges in the surrounding regions.
The Helsinki-based company’s CFO (Miss) Tina Nyfors said that the protection and improvement of rivers across the world play a major role in preventing oceanic pollution and its partnership with MMRDA will be pivotal to help achieve this global mission.
“This mutual cooperation will enable MMR to head towards environmental sustainability with strategic river protection and improvement directives, and effective waste management,” said Nyfors.
The facilitation of globally recognised practices in relation to the promotion of circular economy practices like waste-to-energy solutions, efficient waste management, development of Blue & Green infrastructure across the MMR would help enforce the improvement of air quality and rainwater absorption.
The different agreements were signed this week in Davos during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the presence of MMRDA Chairman and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, MMRDA Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee, and top government and corporate officials of The Netherlands, Finland, United Kingdom and South Korea.