Indo-US round­table un­veils smart city plans for Ajmer

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

FICCI and US In­dia Busi­ness Coun­cil (USIBC) jointly or­gan­ised a smart city round­table on May 29, 2015 in Ajmer, Ra­jasthan. This event was or­ga­nized as a fol­low up af­ter the sign­ing of Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing be­tween the Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan and United States Trade and De­vel­op­ment Agency for the Smart City Co­op­er­a­tion Project for Ajmer. The round­table aimed to un­veil the Smart City de­vel­op­ment plans for Ajmer and to iden­tify the busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for the US and In­dian com­pa­nies.

Dr. Arbind Prasad, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, FICCI and Diane Farrell, Ex­ec­u­tive VP, USIBC, wel­comed the dis­tin­guished speak­ers and au­di­ence for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the event. Dr. Prasad said that FICCI had set up a Task Force on Smart Ci­ties which com­prised industry mem­bers from dif­fer­ent ar­eas such as ur­ban in­fras­truc­ture, ICT, en­ergy, geospa­tial tech­nolo­gies, en­ergy, home­land se­cu­rity, hous­ing, manufacturing, in­fras­truc­ture and academia. The ob­jec­tive of the Task Force was to look at var­i­ous ways where industry could part­ner with the gov­ern­ment in de­vel­op­ment of smart ci­ties. Dr. Prasad said that FICCI would like to work with the Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan, USTDA and USIBC in the Ajmer smart city project.

Ra­j­pal Singh Shekhawat, Min­is­ter for Ur­ban De­vel­op­ments & Hous­ing, Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan; Va­sudev Dev­nani, Min­is­ter of State for Ed­u­ca­tion, Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan; Anita Bhadel, Min­is­ter for Women & Child De­vel­op­ment, Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan; Onkar Singh Lakhawat, Chair­man, Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion & De­vel­op­ment Author­ity and se­nior state of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Ashok Jain, Ad­di­tional Chief Sec­re­tary (UD & Hous­ing), Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan and Dhar­men­dra Bhat­na­gar, Di­vi­sional Com­mis­sioner, Ajmer & Chair­man, Ajmer De­vel­op­ment Author­ity, were present on the oc­ca­sion to pro­vide an im­pe­tus to Ajmer smart city project and boost pri­vate par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Ra­j­pal Singh Shekhawat fo­cused on the need to re­vamp eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties of the city while ad­dress­ing the is­sues of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, hu­man cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion and the much­needed so­cial eq­uity. Va­sudev Dev­nani em­pha­sised the need to study the ge­o­graph­i­cal crit­i­cal­ity of the city to iden­tify the is­sues that needed to be ad­dressed for a suc­cess­ful ex­e­cu­tion of the smart city project. Anita Bhadel pro­posed to de­velop an ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing mech­a­nism for the city that would elicit fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the ex­ist­ing tourism industry. Onkar Singh Lakhawat high­lighted the need to ad­dress the long stand­ing wa­ter and waste wa­ter is­sues of the city that had led to chronic health is­sues amongst the city res­i­dents. Ashok Jain high­lighted the need for de­vel­op­ing industry cor­ri­dors in and around Ajmer.

The ses­sion also saw de­lib­er­a­tions on dif­fer­ent modes for pri­vate par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Ajmer smart city project high­light­ing the need for con­ducive col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween In­dian and US pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies.

The con­clave wit­nessed sub­stan­tial in­ter­ests from ma­jor In­dian as well as US based pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the fields of wa­ter & waste man­age­ment, trans­porta­tion, con­struc­tion, tourism, ICT, elec­tric­ity, health­care, safety & sur­veil­lance amongst oth­ers. Se­nior of­fi­cials from com­pa­nies and mul­ti­lat­eral agen­cies such as United Tech­nolo­gies Cor­po­ra­tion, World­wide Ma­chiner­ies So­lu­tions, Vi­a­com18 Me­dia, L&T Con­struc­tion, World Bank, In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion, Price­wa­ter­house Coop­ers, Ernst & Young, AECOM, CH2MHill, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank and Mahin­dra World City De­vel­op­ers, were present dur­ing the event.

L to R: Va­sudev Dev­nani, Min­is­ter of State for Ed­u­ca­tion, Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan; Dhar­men­dra Bhat­na­gar, Di­vi­sional Com­mis­sioner, Ajmer & Chair­man, Ajmer De­vel­op­ment Author­ity; Ka­mal Bakoliya, Mayor, Ajmer Na­gar Nigam; Anita Bhadel, Min­is­ter for Women & Child De­vel­op­ment, Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan; John McCaslin, Min­is­ter Coun­selor for Com­mer­cial Af­fairs, U.S. Em­bassy, New Delhi; Ra­j­pal Singh Shekhawat, Min­is­ter for Ur­ban De­vel­op­ments & Hous­ing, Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan; Onkar Singh Lakhawat, Chair­man, Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion & De­vel­op­ment Author­ity and Ashok Jain, Ad­di­tional Chief Sec­re­tary (UD & Hous­ing), Gov­ern­ment of Ra­jasthan.

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