The 14th edition of Municipalika, a three-day exhibition and conference on Smart and Sustainable Cities, organised at CIDCO Exhibition Centre, Navi Mumbai, from 18th to 20th May, ended on a high note, providing valuable insights and solutions for urban infrastructure and housing development in India.
The thrust areas of urban infrastructure focus on evolving smart and sustainable city solutions for water, waste water, solid waste management, transportation, energy, safety, security, housing and e-governance.
The three-day exhibition and conference received encouragement and support from M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India; Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra and Prakash Mehta, Minister of Housing, Government of Maharashtra.
A packed inaugural programme was graced by Maya Singh, Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Government of Madhya Pradesh; R Roshan Baig, Minister of Urban Development and Haj, Government of Karnataka; Durga Shanker Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India; HE Nadir Patel, High Commissioner of Canada in India; Koh Lin Ji, Group Director, International Development Group Building and Construction Authority, Singapore; Pawan Arora, Director of Local Bodies and Joint Secretary, Government of Rajasthan; Sudhakar Sambhaji Sonawane, Mayor, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation; V Suresh, Advisor, Good Governance India Foundation, Former CMD, HUDCO and Sanjiv Agarwal, Founder Chairman, Good Governance India Foundation, Editor & Publisher, Urban News Digest.
Speaking during the inaugural session, Maya Singh said, 'I believe a smart city is a green city. The Swachh Bharat initiative by the Government of Madhya Pradesh has been very supporting and has been able to come up with new policies. There are many new programmes that are being planned in Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur including waste-to-energy initiatives, Swachh Bharat Mission and river rejuvenation works.'
According to Roshan Baig, 'A city can become a smart city when it has fulfilled certain conditions which can only be achieved by spreading awareness and changing the way people think. It is only when we deal with issues like slums and open defecation can we truly call a city, a smart city. Since land is a scarce resource, new satellite town planning on available lands, like the one in Kolar Gold Fields, is one proposal the Government of Karnataka is contemplating.'
Durga Shanker Mishra said, 'There are four major pillars necessary for the development of a city which are institutional or governance, social, economic as well as physical and it is imperative that we focus on all of them.' He added, 'The major initiatives taken by the Government of India for the 100 smart cities, 500 AMRUT cities, Swachh Bharat Mission and Housing for All under PMAY and HRIDAY have given a major fillip to urban transformation for fast growing Indian cities.'
Nadir Patel expressed, 'This is a very special exhibition and conference that brings together all stakeholders in the urban sector with an array of solutions to many challenges and problems. This year a collaboration from a range of experts from the University of Toronto and IIT Bombay as well as other partners has been initiated to spread awareness about the multi-dimensional issues for development of cities.' In appreciation, Koh Lin Ji said, 'Smart and Sustainable Cities 2017 is a well thought up theme as smart cities do not function independently without sustainable environment.'
'Rajasthan has an image of a desert state and tourism state. However, now it is slowly transforming into a more developed state that is being recognised for its urban innovations not just in the country but also internationally,' observed Pawan Arora.
About Municipalika, Sonawane conveyed, 'As host city we are proud to have Municipalika event in Navi Mumbai which has been developed as a well-planned satellite town. Our cities should be provided with newer technologies for more balanced development and growth.'
Canada and Singapore as partner countries brought forth their rich global experience of decades through the exhibition displays and conference sessions. They threw light on creating sustainable and vibrant smart cities with the best practices in planning, design, execution and good governance.
The conference enabled participation of over 1,600 delegates from 300 cities in India and abroad. The Government of Maharashtra, the host state for the exhibition and conference, was supported by the ministries of Urban Development, New and Renewable Energy, Electronics and Information Technology and Home Affairs Office of the Fire Adviser and Steel, Government of India.
The co-located CAPEx (Construction, Architecture, and Planning & Engineering Expo) segment captured the leading building materials, technologies and construction equipment for structural, non-structural, finishing, building and plumbing services. Green building products which are environment-friendly and energy-efficient found a significant presence in the CAPEx segment.
The Municipalika exhibition and conference of 2017 was one of the biggest events in the country on city solutions, with over 170 exhibitors showcasing technologies, equipment, products, software and solutions for smart and sustainable cities, covering all facets of urban infrastructure development and housing and building construction activities. Over 5,000 delegates and visitors benefitted from the valuable displays in the exhibition.
Besides the presence of a large number of senior government officials, urban local bodies, urban parastatals and utilities, which have been the USP of Municipalika, there was a strong participation from private sector stakeholders like real estate developers and builders; system integrators; consultants; EPC contractors; urban infrastructure providers and other professionals.