Urban Transformation is one of the constant phenomena that is experienced across the world and India is no exception. In the context of India, with growing population and constant migration, the urbanisation has given rise to several challenges as well. With an aim to explore the multiple facets of urban transformation such as transportation and mobility, public safety, water and waste management, housing, role of IT in civic administration etc., Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd along with Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, Chandigarh Administration, and Chandigarh Smart City Limited organised a one day Urban Transformation Summit 2019 in Chandigarh on December 12, 2019.
Kamal Kishor Yadav, Commissioner, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was the Programme Chair of the Summit.
The Summit was participated by policymakers in the urban development sector across India and industry experts. The themes which were explored in the Summit were urban planning, waste management, transportation and mobility, waste management and e-governance among others.
The inaugural session was on the theme ‘The Digitized Smart City, Redefining Services Through Enhanced Connectivity, Mobility and Resilient Infrastructure’.
Janardan Prasad, Director (Urban Transport), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India gave a brief overview on the significance of electric vehicles and using in the urban transport or urban mobility sector to check the carbon emission in the environment. He emphasised on using public transport in the cities. According to him, this is one of the most crucial aspects of a healthy, sustainable and resilient cities.
Sanjay Beniwal, DGP, Chandigarh Police, while delivering the inaugural address said, “We are coming up with Megacity near Chandigarh. This would create much convenience to the residents of Chandigarh and the vicinity. This also increases the responsibility of us to provide better security services to the citizens. Technology is playing a crucial role in offering better security to the citizens across the city, be it inside their homes, outdoors or public transport. We are developing e-sathi app to address these issues.” Beniwal also reiterated on the scenario of women’s safety and how Chandigarh Police is working on improving it.
Lalit Jain, Director, Town and Country Planning Department and Director, Rural Development, Government of Himachal Pradesh said “Urbanisation in hill stations is much different than that of plains. We are facing challenges, but exploring how to convert it into opportunities. We are utilising non-renewable energy such as solar power, water power etc.”
Jaspal Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Planning, Government of Punjab said, “With the increasing load of population, we are facing several challenges in terms of urbanisation, be it in terms of waste management, traffic, mobility or others. With rapid urban transformation, we have to adopt the technological solutions and deploy them based on the need of the hour.”
Andrew Ayre, Hon’ble Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission and His Excellency Shin Bongkil, Hon’ble Ambassador of South Korea to India added value to the Summit by bringing international perspective from their respective countries.
Tejaswi Naik, District Magistrate & Collector, Betul, Madhya Pradesh delivered a special presentation on Urban Development Scenario in Betul, Madhya Pradesh. He gave an overview of the challenges faced by women as well as other citizens in Bhopal and the innovative solutions introduced by Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited and Bhopal Municipal Corporation. “One such initiative is She-Lounge, which is a comfortable space for women, where not only they can avail restroom facilities but also a place to sit down, tend their children etc. This is basically a secured space for women to avail facilities for free,” he said.
In the session themed ‘Challenges in Urban Development — Changing Urban Landscape’, presentations were delivered by Kumar Saurabh, Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot (Punjab); Mukesh Anand, Special Secretary, cum Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration; Deep Jyot, Deputy Secretary, Department of Governance Reforms, Government of Punjab; Tarun Juneja, Executive Engineer (Civil), Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation & Smart Kalyan Dombivili Development Corporation Limited and Rakesh Tandon, Cluster Head, North, RBL Bank.
Each of the presentations focused on the initiatives and plans in pipeline of the respective organisations in order to build a sustainable, safe, secure and resilient urban ecosystem.
The Summit also saw panel discussions on the role of technology in transforming governance and urban development.
Taranjot Gadhok, Lead Fellow (Leadership program on Environment & Sustainable Development), Ex Executive Director, HUDCO delivered a special presentation on ‘Role of Design and Planning in Sustainability of Cities’.
The Summit was a culmination of domain experts and stakeholders from the urban planning sector and provided a much needed platform to discuss and deliberate the rising challenges of urbanisation and the best practices across the world to mitigate those, which, if implemented by the administrators and policymakers, would help create an environment of a holistic urban growth.
Urban Transformation Summit Chandigarh 2019 also awarded organisations which brought through multiple positive impact on the urban development sphere.
SMS Limited Nagpur was the Associate Partner and RBL Bank was the Banking Partner of the Summit.