Bhubaneswar: Xavier University, Bhubaneswar (XUB) organised its annual business conclave ‘Samavesh’ yesterday.
The business event with theme ‘Managing Cities-Current Practices and Future Priorities’ was held at Xavier City campus.
The conclave was inaugurated by Xavier School of Human Settlements (XAHS) Dean Kajri Mishra.
Addressing the industry veterans who graced the occasion, Mishra stressed on the problems plaguing city management and the importance managerial expertise plays in supplementing City Planners and Public Systems Management in creating livable, sustainable and just settlements.
Managers who understand city systems are the need of the hour and Samavesh’19 aimed to inculcate the knowledge of the kind of expertise required and the current trends in the industry to do the same, she said.
The first panel was moderated by Prof. Tathagata Chatterji (Professor, Urban Management and Governance, XUB), and the panelists were Ashutosh Limaye (Director and Head Strategy Advisory, Anarock Property Consultants Pvt. Ltd), Jamal Abdul Rasheed (Team Leader, Trivandrum Smart Cities Ltd., IPE Global) and Shishir Ranjan Dash (Lead- Urban Habitat, Tata Trust).
Chatterji initiated the discussion by addressing the issue of the massive urban shift that the country will soon witness. “How do we manage this change in a sustainable manner?” he questioned, which consequently guided the course of the discussion.
Rasheed, who is working on the development of smart cities, spoke about the major plans to be implemented in Trivandrum, which would primarily deal with the issues of community well-being, environment and traffic management.
“Nobody wants to sign a sheet to make decisions,” Rasheed said, addressing the administrative problems associated with the industry.
Limaye sensitized the students about real estate stating out the relationship of the former with human settlements. He also urged the students to try and tackle the problems with the housing sector which have been long-standing. Dash, who is working on the JAGA mission which aims to develop slums, spoke about the various plans under the project and the extensive use of technology that is employed.
Consequently, the second panel, moderated by Shraddha Kumar (Professor, Urban Management and Governance, XUB), comprising Prabhakar Kumar (Head- Planning, REPL), Suman Mishra (Associate Vice President, Tech Mahindra), and Jay Anand (General Manager, ECORYS, India) further deliberated upon the theme.
Kumar threw some light upon the importance of bridging the gap between theory and practice to ensure that a multidimensional skillset is possessed by the future managers. Mishra gave an overview of e-transportation and mobility concerning smart cities and enlightened the students about the increase in the number of start-ups in this field. Anand brought to the forefront the problem of ghost towns which, if worked on, can accommodate thousands of slum-dwellers. He also elaborated on how the current urban city management is damaging land, water and the overall quality of life. Finally, he enriched the discussion by listing out some feasible solutions like major policy changes and building resilient cities.
The students of XAHS, actively engaged with the panelists, asking thought-provoking questions and adding value to the discourse.
The panelists gave a holistic view of the theme, stressing on various aspects of city planning and management, providing vital information they have garnered through their own experiences.