Bhubaneswar: The three-day International conclave on Urban Transformation commenced today at Hotel Vivanta in Bhubaneswar, organized by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (H&UD), Government of Odisha. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the event in virtual mode. The conclave witnessed over 400 participants from 11 countries and 20 States of India, marking the first-ever international conference on Urban Transformation held in Odisha.
In his opening remarks, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik welcomed the participants, highlighting Odisha’s rich heritage and its current efforts to create smart and inclusive avenues for all segments of society. He emphasized the importance of community-led urban development under the 5T framework, where the focus is on empowering communities. The Chief Minister expressed pride in Odisha’s achievements, including the significant strides in sanitation and the “Drink from Tap” mission.
Patnaik stated, “We firmly believe that community-led urban development is not just the story of Odisha but rather a global paradigm shift in the offing. The International Conclave on Urban Transformation is a testament to our commitment.” He extended an invitation to learn from Odisha’s experiences, encouraging collaboration for a better urban future.
The inaugural session also featured addresses from Minister of Housing and Urban Development Usha Devi, Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, Additional Chief Secretary G Mathi Vathanan, and Joint Secretary Rahul Kapoor. Minister Usha Devi emphasized Odisha’s achievements in urban development, focusing on best practices, partnerships, and innovation. Chief Secretary Jena highlighted the state’s emphasis on people-centric and community-led development, addressing challenges in managing urban growth.
The session included discussions on Odisha’s achievements in land rights, particularly through the Jaga Mission, which aims to improve the quality of life for slum dwellers. The government’s commitment to sustainable development, exemplified by initiatives like the 24X7 Drinking Water under the Drink from Tap mission, was also underscored.
Joint Secretary Rahul Kapoor commended Odisha as a role model for providing basic urban amenities and highlighted the state’s successful schemes, including Jaga Mission, Drink from Tap, MUKTA, and Ama Pokhari Yojana.
Minister Usha Devi dedicated the “Odisha Urban Academy” during the session, emphasizing its role as a center of excellence for training and capacity building. Additionally, the Odisha Inclusive Sanitation Policy-2024 was launched, and a Coffee Table Book on Community Partnership in Urban Governance was released.
Special Secretary Sagarika Patnaik provided insights into the scheduled programs for the three-day event, covering topics such as “Water for All,” “Inclusive Sanitation and Waste Management,” “Community-led Urban Transformation: Odisha’s Models for Sustainable Urban Management,” and “Emergency Need for Regulatory Framework in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene,” featuring inputs from key stakeholders and experts. The event is scheduled to run from January 18th to 20th, 2024.