Public-private partnership needed to make Delhi a global city

March 27th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of KPMG

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) By 2020 Delhi can become a smart, global city in more ways than one if the public and private sectors work in tandem, experts from different fields said here Thursday. “As the city’s population is growing very fast, the pressure on existing infrastructure will keep on mounting. Accordingly, a blueprint has to be prepared,” said Deep Kapuria, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-northern region at a seminar.

“The stakeholders have to look for far reaching solutions to the problems like transport, health and education. It will be possible only when the private and public sectors work together to make Delhi smart by 2020,” Kapuria added.

CII’s Delhi state council organised the seminar on “Delhi-Smart City 2020″.

The city government’s chief secretary Rakesh Mehta, while expressing optimism over Delhi’s future prospects, said the city was marching ahead on the path of of all-round growth and progress against all odds.

“With the partnership of stakeholders, the government is committed to make the city self-reliant by upgrading key infrastructures like health, education, and information technology. Transport is very much on the government’s priority agenda,” said Mehta.

Many speakers felt the need to use water bodies as tourist spots, and not just as dumping ground for wastes. Some speakers underlined the importance of waste management.

“As the process of urbanization is getting faster day-by-day, we need to adopt pro-active measures to respond to the emerging challenges. We need to use every available opportunity to make Delhi smart by 2020. Why cannot the water bodies be developed as tourist spots as in other countries,” said T.K. Arun, editor, The Economic Times, Delhi.

Arun, who moderated the deliberations, noted the need to develop the countryside to check people’s flow towards existing urban habitats.

Arun Kumar, associate director, KPMG Advisory Services, lamented the non-integration of urban development planning with water availability.

Waltraut Ritter, research director, Knowledge Enterprises, Hong Kong, said the city should try to become a key destination for talented people.

“Bangalore is very much on the track, and is attracting more talent than other cities. A city like Delhi can become smart if the ideas of citizens are also taken into consideration for implementation,” said Ritter.

Shantanu Prakash, managing director, Educomp Solutions Ltd, suggested that the government should improve the level of higher education in the country.

Shivinder Mohan Singh, managing director, Fortis Healthcare and vice-chairman of CII Delhi unit, said the city was emerging as a health tourist destination, and appreciated the government’s move of private-public partnership for the city’s growth.

“There is a need to make the city’s tourism industry people-oriented. Let’s involve the locals in promoting Delhi’s hidden legacy. They should be encouraged to interact with foreign and domestic tourists. It will bring in the sense of belonging,” said Ravi Bhoothalingam, chief executive, Manas Advisory Private Limited.

The population of the city, that was 0.4 million in 1901, stood at 13.8 million in 2001. Government estimates put the population at 16.5 million in 2006 that is expected to grow to 19 million in 2011.

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