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Delegates from 50 countries to attend XI Metropolis World Congress

Over 400 delegates from 50 countries and more than 1,600 participants from 458 cities in the country are expected to attend the XI Metropolis World Congress to be held in the city from Monday. The theme of the Congress is “Cities for All”.

According to Telangana chief secretary Rajiv Sharma, mayors of several cities including Johannesburg, Barcelona, Berlin and Teheran besides technocrats, administrators and experts on urban issues will be part of the discussions at the five-day event being held for the first time in the country.

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam would be delivering the keynote address at the plenary session to be moderated by V K Saraswath, former chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). President Pranab Mukherjee would address the valedictory session.

Sharma told media persons on Saturday that the event would provide an opportunity for the Telangana government to look at international experiences that would be helpful in tackling issues affecting Hyderabad post bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and making it ” as a happening city”.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner, Somesh Kumar, said that the Metropolis Congress had become a platform for lot of learning and sharing experiences. A number of memoranda of understanding would be signed during the congress where several government-to-government and business-to-business meetings would be held.

Kumar said that the event was being hosted jointly by the state government and GHMC for which an amount of Rs 15 crore was earmarked towards expenditure. Of this, Rs 5 crore would be borne by the state government and an equal amount would be spent by GHMC. The remaining Rs 5 crore would be provided by other agencies.

The event is supported by Oracle and institutions like the Indian School of Business, National Institute of Urban Affairs, UNHabitat, World Health Organisation, Administrative Staff College of India, Cities Alliance, AMB ( Barcelona) and iledeFrance besides the Union government.

Different subjects pertaining to metropolis cities would come up for discussion during the meeting. They include urban equity, governance, finance, urban India, 100 smart cities, housing for all and satellite cities. The meeting also has specific agenda on issues such as women and green buildings on which cities like Barcelona, Mexico, Seoul and Sao Paulo share their initiatives.

Created in 1985, the Metropolis Association is represented by more than 130 members from across the world and operates as an international forum for exploring issues and concerns common to all metropolitan regions. The 10th metropolitan world congress was held in 2011 at Porte Alegre, Brazil. The earlier editions were held in Sydney, Berlin, Seoul Barcelona, Tokyo, Montreal, Melbourne and Mexico City.

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