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Conference discusses behaviour change, citizen participation for inclusive urban sanitation services

ANI | Updated: Feb 28, 2020 23:59 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 28 (ANI): A two-day conference on `Future of Urban Sanitation in India' laid thrust on encouraging people's engagement with urban policy frameworks and to invest in local development planning.
The conference, organised by Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a global centre for participatory research and training based here, was inaugurated by Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri.
According to a press release, the conference focused on localising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the need to accelerate behaviour change and citizen participation for inclusive and sustainable urban sanitation services.
"The key take away from the conference was the importance of creating commensurate spaces for acknowledging and encouraging people's engagement with urban policy frameworks, and to invest in local development planning." the release said.
The central theme of the conference was localising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the provision of urban services such as transportation, sanitation, sewerage, and waste management.
"Sanitation must be a priority if economic growth matters. Investment in sanitation should also be seen as an economic priority as 8-10 per cent of cities GDP is coming through the economic contribution of informal settlements," said Rajesh Tandon, Founder President, PRIA.
He said that there is a need for catalysing and supporting local action because investment in small and medium towns remained unutilized over the past five years because the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) did not have the capacity to utilize those funds and invest in local planning.
It was shared that the sustainability of the enhanced urban sanitation services will be contingent upon sustained citizen participation and behaviour changes along with enhanced capacities of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and the city-level institutional ecosystem.
The deliberations during the conference highlighted the need for effective and accountable sanitation services, including access to and use of toilets, as critical for the health of a city. (ANI)