If you were to opt for just one exposition that offers a real insight into what the future holds for sustainable societies, then it would certainly be One Mega Event being held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Companies from across the globe gathered at the three-day show, hoping to secure a showcase for the most adaptive street lights, innovative solar systems, intelligent building materials, low-cost sensors, WiFi-enabled smart devices, connected vehicles, eco-friendly electric rickshaws…
During his visit to the exhibition, Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, said, “I’m quite impressed with the various exhibits I saw at the expo. One Mega Event provides an opportunity to learn upfront about the latest technology in various fields, i.e. transport, water, solar and green buildings. The show features exciting innovations already being introduced in cities as well as those which could become reality in the near future, and these solutions are very useful for the newly formed special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to expedite the process of development of smart cities.”
An interesting example showcased at One Mega Event is Water-Gen and Vikram Solar’s environmental and humanitarian water solutions. Water-Gen has developed a cutting-edge air to water generating technology and line of products for household use and large scale AWG modular units for generating clean drinking water from the atmosphere, with an aim to improve the quality and quantity of clean and accessible water in the world. Water-Gen products can work with regular electricity connections or solar panels.
Meanwhile, at the Mayor’s Conclave, all underscored the important role that cities must play for sustainable growth. They elaborated on steps needed to transform their cities into great places to live and work.
Dr. Ramanath Sonawane, Additional Commissioner, Nagpur, Municipal Corporation, pointed out, “The three main requisites for good governance are: citizens elect worthy representatives; these elected representatives elect good bureaucrats; these elected representatives and the bureaucrats together understand the needs of the citizens well.”
He added, “Technology can act as an enabler. However, before implementing the ICT process for governance, we must take corrective actions to get our basic amenities in place. It is necessary to prioritise our needs; prepare proper policies; prepare proper action plan; and, finally, introduce an executable implementation process.”
Supporting India’s Smart Cities Mission, Mr Patrick Santillo, Minister –Counselor for Commercial Affairs, US Embassy, affirmed, “US companies can act as valuable partners for the mission. For successful implementation of plans at the city level, it is important for city leaders to take value based decisions rather than institution based decisions for improved governance. Citizen engagement will make the entire process holistic in nature.”
“Before launching the federal mission, India had hardly any investments in smart city programmes, but now our country is looking to increase its investment in digital technologies to make our cities work better. Hopefully,One Mega Event will serve as the platform for attracting investments for anything from managing waste better to helping citizens become more engaged with their councils, to developing efficient transport systems, etc.,” said Shri Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group.
As Knowledge Partner for 4th Water India 2017 expo, Avinash Kumar, Director-Programmes & Policy, WaterAid India, stated, “To ensure safe water supply in urban areas, we need to adopt innovative approaches that are people-centric and can be managed by the local governments.”
At the inaugural conference session, Smarter Solutions for a Better Tomorrow, Shri Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, opined that ultimately, smartness of any city will depend on getting high quality of human capital.
Oleg Kamberski, Head – Passenger Transport & Taxis, International Road Transport Union (IRU), Belgium, said, “Smart city from the mobility perspective means accessibility of green transport to all the citizens. A smart city is a city which creates equal job opportunities for the urban as well as the rural population. The success of the mission lies in its implementation with the help of private partnership.”
Other important sessions on the first day of the mega show included City Planning; Housing for All; Water Industry of India; Sustainable Transportation: Roadmap; Financing Renewable Energy, and so on. The Youth Leadership Summit featured inspiring speakers who provided in-depth understanding of the dynamics of evolving ideas into impactful innovations.