One of the country’s leading integrated companies, NTPC Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, to implement the Narmada Landscape Restoration Project (NLRP).
The programme is in partnership with a grant in aid from NTPC Ltd and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in equal proportions.
The four-year project will be implemented in Khargone District of Madhya Pradesh, in the catchments of selected tributaries of the River Narmada between Omkareshwar and Maheshwar dams. IIFM, Bhopal, an Autonomous Institute under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), GoI with the grant-in-aid from NTPC, Ltd., will be jointly implementing this project with Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an intergovernmental organisation that promotes sustainable and inclusive economic growth in emerging economies.
GGGI will participate in this project with funding support from USAID, the international development arm of the US government.
SM Chowdhury, Executive Director (SSEA) & CSO, NTPC Ltd. commented, “NTPC Ltd. through its business and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities is committed towards sustainable development of the nation, economic and social upliftment of the society as well as the fostering of a healthy environment.”
He further stated, “Through NLRP, NTPC Ltd. is extending its support to demonstrate nature-based solutions for enhancing ecosystem services, primarily water. NLRP’s theme is aligned with NTPC’s sustainability approach of contributing towards a clean and sustainable environment concerning land, water and air. We are very proud and excited to have partnered with IIFM, GGGI and USAID in this project which will benefit the farmers, forest communities as well as women in the catchment of river Narmada in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh.”
Dr. Pankaj Srivastava, Director, IIFM, Bhopal said, “This consortium project with the collaboration of NTPC-IIFM-GGGI-USAID will open new vistas that will manage our watersheds to maintain water quality and supplement smart cities by introducing a smarter way of purification of urban water supplies.”
“Incentives to downstream rural communities for maintenance of ecosystem services of natural forests and creation of man-made buffers for natural purification of water will be a win-win situation for water consumers of Indore as well as residents of villages in the source water zone.”
NLRP’s collaborative and participatory approach will demonstrate the interdependency of the upstream sustainably managed forest and farm practices on downstream water resources. The project aims to establish an incentivisation mechanism that can continue to support the riparian forest and farm communities of the Narmada Basin to maintain sustainable landscape practices. This is expected to positively impact the water quality and quantity in the river’s tributaries.
On scaling up, the incentivisation mechanism and its resultant improvement in water quality and quantity are expected to greatly benefit the city of Indore, which draws over 60 per cent of its municipal water supply from River Narmada.