The Adviser to the Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, Mr K K Sharma while addressing the CII Chandigarh Annual Session-2012-13 & Session on World-class Amenities and Habitat !n (WAH!) Chandigarh here today accentuated that regions and not cities have made a difference world over. Calling for integrated development of the Tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali & Panchkula & neighboring towns to make Chandigarh a world-class city, the Adviser shared that the Chandigarh Administration has been working in tandem with the authorities in Mohali, Panchkula and GMADA. Highlighting the need for strengthening public transport in these towns, Mr Sharma mentioned that congestion on city roads is a problem world over and Chandigarh Administration is working to introduce integrated public transport systems to address the problems. He opined that no land will be available in Chandigarh after 10 years; hence, the Administration has worked upon the Draft Master Plan with great scrutiny preempting the problems future can throw in terms of load on infrastructure.
Mr Sharma mentioned that Chandigarh has better basic services like water, electricity, education, healthcare and quality spaces compared to other cities. Sharing his views on the basic character of Chandigarh, Mr Sharma mentioned that vertical growth of cities put corresponding pressure on infrastructure. We need to first understand how much growth load we can understand. Sharing his concern, the Adviser mentioned,“While Chandigarh Administration is working towards providing housing to around 2 lakh slum dwellers, it would be interesting to survey where, the middle class population of Chandigarh resides. We may lose the charm of attracting knowledge workers in Chandigarh, if we are not able to provide them with suitable housing”.
Mr Malvinder Mohan Singh, Chairman, CII Northern Region & Executive Chairman, Fortis Healthcare Ltd called for leading from front in the healthcare vertical. He mentioned that Chandigarh has the potential to resolve the huge crying need of trained medical staff all over the country. He suggested to bring about a change in the lifestyles encouraging utilization of City’s gardens & Lake. “We must aim to become healthier as a city creating a mindset change from curative to preventive healthcare”.
Mr Jayant Davar, Deputy Chairman, CII Northern Region & Vice Chairman & MD, Sandhar Technologies Ltd called for creating a mindset of innovation moving from jugaad to creating value in the supply chain and this to the entire nation.
Mr Sameer Goel, Immediate Past Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council & Delivery Manager, Infosys Ltd said, “Chandigarh being a City State has its own set of opportunities & challenges. With a potential to be a world class city, Chandigarh was recently ranked No 2 in India Today’s rating of top 50 Indian cities to live, work and play in. However, no Indian city could manage to find a place in the list of top 100 global cities in the 2012 Quality of Living Survey by Mercer. Thus, we have the task of building a better city for the future. The necessary ingredients are available that need to be built upon to meet the expectations of the 1 million people of Chandigarh. This planned City with 8th highest literacy rate needs to increase its competitiveness quotient making available infrastructure & civic amenities that have performance standards, can attract further investments and leverage existing investment to give returns beyond normal.”
Appreciating Chandigarh’s fairly efficient public health system, Mr Goel shared that the desire remains for access to quality and affordable healthcare to the lower strata of society. For providing world class infrastructure & civic amenities, effective Management of resources and infrastructure would be the key. We cannot build& forget. We need to put in robust monitoring & upgrade framework and increase citizen participation in management of these resources, he added.
Mr Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG said, “Economic and population growth is going to be centered around cities.Large investments are needed to create sustainable and world class Urban Infrastructure in Indian cities. However, the financing of such a large investment program is expected to be a challenge, given the capabilities of Urban Local Bodies to raise capital”.
Mr Pikender Pal Singh, Regional Director, CII, NR said that “Chandigarh needs to prepare itself for future challenges. The City was planned for horizontal growth but now vertical growth has started which may put pressure on the infrastructure of the city including Mass transport system. The City has one of the highest cars per person ratio in the country resulting in lack of parking space at major shopping hubs. It lacks International Airport and there are only few international class hotels in the city. At source segregation of solid waste is also a challenge & opportunity for the City, added Mr Rekhy.
Mr Man Mohan Singh, Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council & CEO, Hotel Aroma said, “There is no doubt that Chandigarh has the potential to make advancements in strengthening its economic growth and emerge as a role model for other cities, not just in India but globally”.
Prof Rajesh Chakrabarti, Executive Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy & Clinical Associate Professor, Indian School of Business opined, “In today’s digital technology-enabled environment, it may make sense to look at the Higher Education Clusters as the starting point for a nation to build clusters whose design is portable over time to the nation, the region and beyond. The Tri-City area needs to develop an understanding of HECs globally. It should build a shared understanding among a stakeholder group in Chandigarh about the goals of the Chandigarh HEC. A monitoring and evaluation process in order to periodically assess the progress of the HEC and to respond to outcomes and external events needs to be set up.