Mr Kamal Nath, Minister of Urban Development, Govt. of India gave away the Environmentally Sustainable City Awards (ESCA), 2011 to the cities of Mysore and Vijayawada at the 5th Euro-India Summit on 13 October 2011 at Leuven, Belgium.
Speaking at the Summit, Minister Nath emphasized the growing infrastructure and urbanization challenges being faced by India and highlighted the steps being taken by the Govt. of India towards “creating economically viable, vibrant, efficient and inclusive cities”. Mr.Nath said that as of now 60% GDP is being generated from the urban centers and this percentage is likely to further increase.
ESCA awards are based on the efforts made by the cities for the conservation of Water, Air, Habitat, Energy and Earth.
The Mysore Municipal Corporation has implemented a pilot project on zero waste management (ZWM) at Kumbarakoppalu. The inorganic waste is brought to the ZWM by Self Help Groups and subjected to aerobic treatment and vermi composting. The project has enhanced community participation and provided employment opportunities to the low income families.
Vijaywada Municipal Corporation has been chosen for implementing the energy saving Project for Street Lighting on ESCO basis. The average energy consumption before the project implementation was 12 million KWH which has reduced now to 4.8 million KWH.
Earlier, in Brussels, Minister Nath addressed the Plenary Session of the European Union Committee of Regions (COR) on Wednesday. This is the first occasion when a Minister of a non EU has addressed the COR. Speaking on the occasion Minister Nath invited the EU to come forward and partner with India in the area of capacity building and invited investment in the Urban Sector, including through Public Private Partnership mode.
The COR is the political assembly of local and regional authorities who are drawn from 27 EU Member States. The COR was set up in 1994 and its purpose is to give local and regional representatives a say in the development of new EU laws.