Seoul, Sep 13: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sought cooperation with South Korea in waste water management and water conservation.
Speaking at International Conference on Urban Regeneration in Seoul, Mr Kejriwal said, 'Our government seeks to have cooperation in waste water management and water conservation, since the water demand of a growing city like Delhi will always keep increasing given the scale of its expansion and population influx on a regular basis.'
'I am happy that Delhi and Seoul are now entering into a new phase of friendship and over the next couple of days we will officially have Agreements of Friendship and Cooperation in many fields,' Mr Kejriwal said.
He said Delhi’s waterscape heritage is unique as it has a continual natural water system and there is a huge potential for pedestrianisation and urban connections along these waterways.
'The aim is to channelise pedestrian movement within the city, using the existing waterways, greens, historic and transit features of the city in order to enhance connectivity within the urban fabric. The endeavour will be to create a pedestrian-friendly city,' Mr Kejriwal said.
'The Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project in Seoul, which I myself saw yesterday at the downtown, was centred on revitalising the Stream that had been covered for decades by a highway overpass. The city of Seoul used its own resources to bring new life to the downtown by enhancing the urban environment. The restoration of the Cheonggyecheon Stream led to the revitalisation of central Seoul, unleashing the potential for green public space,' he said.
The Chief Minister said he is looking forward to close cooperation with Seoul on developing such kinds of streams in Delhi.
Citing challenge of unplanned urban settlements which have come up over decades in several parts of the city, Mr Kejriwal said the challenge Delhi faces is that people from various parts of India have tendency to come to the capital city in the hope of employment and a better future.
'This has led to unplanned urban sprawl and it is high time that this sprawl be revamped with a human face. Everybody has a right to lead life with dignity and therefore governments must ensure rights of people living in unplanned colonies,' he said.
The Chief Minister said besides this, Delhi has developed as a seamless city with an urban continuum comprising of a number of rapidly growing towns in neighbouring states.
'It has added to the flow and movement of traffic within Delhi. Despite measures by way of increasing the length of the road network and road surface through widening, construction of a number of flyovers / grade separators and, launching of the Metro, the traffic congestion has continued to increase unabated,' he said.
The Delhi Chief Minister said he has heard a lot about public transport of Seoul and the successful use of technology for public transport in Seoul is a talking point across the world.
'In Delhi, the Metro has emerged as a very successful mode of public transport over the last 15 years and it is known for its professionalism and efficiency,' he said.
'Delhi Metro shares a special bond with your country, since many Metro coaches have been built here. Delhi Metro is one of the best in the world for the facilities it offers to commuters and the technology being used in its setting-up and day-to-day running,' the Delhi Chief Minister said.
'With the use of advanced IT, I am told detailed information on the massive Seoul traffic system can be collected in real-time and a remarkable amount of data can be gathered and analysed by the one centre of Seoul TOPIS ((Seoul Transport Operation and Information Services),' he said.
'This is done to increase the accuracy of the information. Furthermore, by sharing such analysis results with private corporations and the people, it allows for the development of various derived information products. Ultimately, Seoul TOPIS works toward the goal of constructing a traffic system having maximised satisfaction by the users and enhanced safety of traffic users, as well as minimising traffic congestion by optimising the efficiency of existing traffic facilities,' the Delhi Chief Minister said.
Mr Kejriwal said he would like to see more cooperation between Delhi and Seoul in this field.
'One of the biggest challenges currently faced by Delhi and its adjoining areas is air pollution. Latest studies show that more than 70 per cent air pollution in Delhi is caused by factors for which Delhi itself is not responsible,' he said.
Mr Kejriwal said Delhi also faces a serious solid waste management challenge. 'I will be happy to suggest the civic bodies of Delhi to learn the Seoul model of disposal and management of solid waste,' he said.
Mr Kejriwal said the AAP Government is also seriously working on water conservation and management, since in summer months Delhi faces a scarcity of water, due to the fact that 'our capital city is dependent on neighbouring states for water, since it does not have any water sources of its own.'
The Chief Minister also sought Seoul's cooperation in waste water management and water conservation, stating that the water demand of a growing city like Delhi will always keep increasing given the scale of its expansion and population influx on a regular basis. (UNI)