The 5th International Conference & Expo on Water & Waste Management was inaugurated at KIIT campus on 23rd February 2023 by Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS in presence of the galaxy of the Water & Waste Management Experts from across the globe. The conference is being jointly organized by KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar (www.kiit.ac.in) and Water & Waste Management Consortium, USA (www.waterandwastemanagement.org). More than 50 featured speakers from various parts of the globe were present, apart from the participants from academia, industry, Government bodies, faculty, staff & students of KIIT-DU.
Prof. Achyuta Samanta, in his Presidential Address, highlighted that hyper consumption is a curse of our modern times and humans are generating monumental amounts of waste. The groundwater is under stress, while the impacts of climate change, population growth, and urbanization are mounting. The journey ahead is fraught with challenges, as many countries are confronting water and waste related challenges that threaten human health, economic growth, and food security.
He emphasized the innovative approaches are the need of the hour to enhance the governance and scale-up the technological transformations and innovations necessary for the affordable, safe, and secured water including proper disposal of the wastes. He shared briefly the efforts made by KIIT & KISS like development of the model villages and adoption of sustainable living practices. He said that KIIT, being a completely green eco-friendly campus free from vehicles and powered by solar power, is a strong indicator of the same. He also shared that the model smart village developed under his leadership is the first wi-fi and fully solar village.
Prof. Samanta complimented the Odisha Govt. for adopting some of the best practices in this field. He added that the Govt’s effort to ensure efficient urban waste management across the State has received national recognition and that the State has won three national awards at ISC-FICCI Sanitation Awards 2021. Moving ahead in its journey towards achieving sustainable development goals, Odisha has transformed the Waste Management System and has appointed Women SHGs and strengthened capacities of ULB functionaries to deal with the generated waste effectively. The Municipal and other Civic authorities are vigorously making people aware about segregation of waste at their homes. The success of Pani Panchayat and Mo Khata under 5T has been also remarkable.
Earlier, the inaugural program started with the prayers and lighting of the lamp by dignitaries on-the-dais. All the guests were given a warm welcome by Prof. Saranjit Singh, Pro-Vice Chancellor, KIIT-DU, where he briefly highlighted the journey of KIIT & KISS in the last 25 years and the recent accolades being bestowed to these two world class institutions.
Mr. Marcelino Garcia, Commissioner-MWRDGC (USA) & Conference Chair along with Mr. Syam Pappu, President, WWM (USA) presented the vision and mission of WWM, USA and future plans. They said that WWM Team is committed to advocate and help implement the Blended Technologies in Water and Waste Management globally. They also thanked and congratulated the KIIT authorities for partnering and championing the cause of the WWM Conference. Prof. Prakasam Tata, ED-CTWT & Conference Co-Chairman shared the revelation of Father of Nation – Mahatma Gandhi – on the theme and iterated his words – “The earth, the air, the land, and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to hand it over to them at least as it was handed over to us.” This quote reminds us of the importance of our responsibility towards the environment and the need for us to act in a responsible and sustainable manner. Same was also shared by Prof. Achyuta Samanta in his speech.
At the end, Prof. Samanta felicitated all the guests from WWM (USA) and wished them a successful conference and joyful stay at KIIT campus. Prof. Sanjib Moulick, Dean, School of Civil Engg, KIIT-DU presented the details on the KIIT School of Civil Engineering. The vote of thanks was proposed by Prof. Dillip Bera, Assoc. Dean IE, School of Civil Engg, KIIT-DU.