New Delhi named among top four world cities

New Delhi was Tuesday named among the top four global cities at the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.

Singapore: New Delhi was Tuesday named
among the top four global cities at the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew
World City Prize here with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit appreciated for her "charismatic and determined leadership"
for improving the living environment of the India`s capital.

Dikshit`s efforts in promoting a "liveable city"
were the basis of naming the Indian capital along with
Melbourne of Australia, Curitiba of Brazil and the prize
winner Bilbao.

This was announced here at the World Cities Summit
2010. A total of 72 city nominations were received from 32
countries for the prize.

"Sheila Dikshit was shortlisted for her charismatic
and determined leadership in improving the living environment
of New Delhi. Inspite of limited resources and limited control
over the planning process, Dikshit had managed to muster the
masses to implement several project-based initiatives that led
to an improvement in the quality of life," a statement from
the Lee Kuan Yew World city prize committee said.

"She also managed to increase the green cover in Delhi
from 26 km in 1997 to nearly 300 km to-date, and was the key
proponent in converting all public transport to the use of CNG
fuel. This has led to a marked improvement in the air quality
of the city," it added.

Elaborating on Dikshit`s efforts in turning New
Delhi green, her special secretary Keshav Chandra highlighted
the success of CNG (compressed natural gas) busses in the
public transportation system and the socio community-based
Bhagidari Citizen-Government partnership, which has grown to
2,300 groups managing daily issues within their community and

Speaking as a representative of the Chief Minister,
Chandra also listed out the success in power sector reform in
the capital city, saying power losses have been reduced to 18
per cent these days from 52 per cent in 2002.

"We are targeting to reduce power transmission losses
to 12 per cent within the next one year," he said.

Dikshit has also been noted for her green efforts
and having had 1.1 million saplings planted through the city
as well as her school level efforts in having students teach
their parents to do away with plastic bags.

Forested areas around New Delhi has increased to 300
sq km in 2009 from a mere 26 sq km in 1998, said Chandra in a
presentation on managing the 16.3 million people capital city,
which is joined by 500,000 migrants every year.

Among new challenging projects is the cleaning of
the Yamuna River for New Delhi and Dikshit, the main
investment for which include a Rs 32,000 crore integrated
sewage treatment plant, he said. The World Cities Summit is
being held June 28 to July 1.


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