A Smart Cities Workshop titled ‘Sustainable Urban Development’ organised by Heidelberg University, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi in collaboration with Mizoram University, Gottingen University, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) was held at Aijal Club today. Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd.) delivered an inaugural address during the workshop.

 Chief Guest Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma said that the topic of smart cities has become relevant and is crucial in the present times not only for Mizoram but the country as a whole. He credited the efforts of the state and the central government as Aizawl now figures on the list of smart cities. He stressed on the participatory role of the stakeholders which he considered was a key to success of the whole project. He said that the rural population of the Himalayas are thinning out due to urban migration and must be arrested as the concept of smart cities cannot delink rural and urban development. He urged the members to consider seismic stability of the region as one component to the master plan, which has to last more than one-half century or beyond. He also emphasized on utilising solar power, revamping education system and improving skill development in the policy paper report. 

Mizoram University Vice Chancellor Prof’ KRS Sambasiva Rao in his special address highlighted the need to formulate a smart city plan that caters to the need of a particular population as the definition of smart city differs from one city to another. With regard to Aizawl city, he emphasized upon solid waste and sewerage management, urban public transport, the need for a supermarket outlet to house all domestic requirements under one roof and multispecialty hospitals. 

During the inaugural session, Prof. Dr. Amitabh Kundu, Distinguished Fellow at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, New Delhi delivered a keynote address on Making Indian Cities Smart: Challenges of Inclusiveness and Sustainability. An introduction to the workshop series was made by Radu Carciumaru, Resident Representative of Heidelberg Centre South Asia (HCSA) while Dr. Rumi Aijaz, Senior Fellow at Urban Policy Research Programme, ORF gave an introduction on smart Cities.


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