Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel while inaugurating the first Sherpas meeting of the U20-Urban Summit held for two days in Ahmedabad under the G20, said, Our cities are socio-cultural and economic hubs as well as backbones of economic development. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the architect of the journey of urban development, has completely rejuvenated the cities of Gujarat during his tenure as the Chief Minister and we all are witness to the fact that the ‘Ease of Living’ has increased in the cities. In the past decades, the Gujarat government has also implemented many projects for Net Zero, Transit Oriented Development and keeping in mind the needs of the weaker sections of the society.
As urbanization is increasing rapidly all across the globe, it is the need of the hour to design urban development plans in such a way that there is a significant solution to the problems arising from unbalanced development, traffic congestion, environmental imbalance and in catering public services, he added.
Chief Minister further said that Following the footsteps of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the cities of Gujarat have given priority to research and e-governance in public infrastructure facilities, as a result of which BRTS public road facility, metro rail project, digital governance, urban connectivity project have been realized in Ahmedabad. Not only that, Citizen centric services in the cities of the state – Citizen Facilitation Centres, Online Development Plant Passing and BU Permission processes have been made completely online. He added.
Mentioning it as a matter of pride for India to chair the G20 meetings under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said, The meeting will provide a platform for current urban issues to unlock the most potential opportunities for inclusive-long-term economic benefits.
Referring to Gujarat’s urban development, rich history and current development journey, the Chief Minister further said, Gujarat has witnessed the development of Sidhu culture. More than 17 Harappan sites have been discovered in the state, of which Dholavira is a prominent site. Dholavira was the main center of urban planning, construction technology, water management, governance, development-art-culture and industrial development in the ancient civilization. Dholavira has recently been announced as India’s 40th world heritage site. Similarly, our city of Ahmedabad is also a world heritage city for its rich heritage and sculpture-culture, he added.
Referring to the development of the city of Ahmedabad the Chief Minister said,The 15th century medieval city of Ahmedabad has transformed into a modern metropolis today. Witnessing this long journey of development, the city of Ahmedabad has established new frontiers of urban planning.
Referring to Gift City the Chief Minister further said that Gift City today is one among the most financially operational, smart cities of the country. Similarly, the Dholera-SIR-Smart City project based on green mobility is also moving towards becoming a strong foundation for modern urban development.
Satellite townships and twin city projects in the state are moving forward with new dimensions of urban development. Not only that, This project will further strengthen the mission of Ease of Living, he further added.
On the occasion of ‘Urban 20 Inception Meeting’, Mayor of Ahmedabad Shri. Kirit Parmar said, Under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, when India is hosting the G20 Summit, I express my gratitude to the Prime Minister for handing over the hosting of the U20 meeting to Ahmedabad, the economic capital of Gujarat.
Under the G20 Summit being hosted by India with the goal of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (Whole World Is One Family), the U20 meeting being held on the premises of Ahmedabad will provide the best suggestions and plans for urban development and long-term development worldwide with the message of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. The exchange of experiential knowledge of the representatives of different cities of the country and abroad will be useful for the future generation, thereby benefiting the entire mankind.
The suggestions received through the deliberations of City Sherpas from around the world will help to plan for a brighter future for the world. This U20 engagement meeting will prove to be important in realizing the mantra of ‘Sarvajan Hitaya, Sarvajan Sukhai'(welfare and prosperity of all sections of society.
India’s G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant addressing the inaugural session said that the world today is facing many challenges like geo-political crisis, war, recession, debt crisis, climate action-finance difficulty, shortage of food, fuel and fertilizers and post covid crisis etc. India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has made dedicated efforts to turn challenges into opportunities.
Cities will continue to play a central role in development in the coming decade. Planned, innovative and sustainable urbanization is essential for the development of any nation. Professionalism and use of technology should be increased in city development and management. Cities need to be developed in a scientific manner, added Shri Kant.
People-centric development of cities should be done; city planning should be done not for motor cars but for people. People’s participation is important in urban development. Villagers come to cities for employment and better living standards. As the burden on cities increases, only by increasing the capacity of cities can the benefit of urbanization in the development of the country. Water recycling alongwith water management is essential for cities.
Chief Secretary of Gujarat Shri. Rajkumar, Secretary of Ministry of Urban Housing, Government of India Shri Manoj Joshi, Additional Chief Secretary of Gujarat Shri Mukesh Puri, Representatives of the G-20 group of nations as well as Sherpas were present.
It is worth mentioning here that under U20, C40 includes foreign cities like New York, Kyoto, Mexico, Barcelona, Port Louis, Los Angeles, Milan, Riyadh, Jakarta, Lagos, Johannesburg, Dhaka North, Durban, Madrid, Rotterdam, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and India. Sherpas from 40 cities including Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Chandigarh, Indore, Raipur, Ranchi, Agartala, Guwahati, Dehradun, Pune, Srinagar, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Rajshahi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Gandhinagar –including sherpa – representatives of 40 cities were present.