New Delhi, Feb 11 IBNS | 8 months ago

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday released the book 'Transforming our Cities- Postcards of change', penned by Isher J Alhuwalia, a noted author and the Chairperson, Board of Governors, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), here.


The book, published by the Express group, is a documentation of the stories of innovation and enterprise that have transformed governance and the quality of life in these cities.

The book launch was followed by a panel discussion on the topic, 'State of our Cities', with esteemed panelist comprising of Arun Jaitley (Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha), Jyotiraditya M Scindia (Union Minister of State for power), Sanjay Baru (Director for Geo-economics and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies) and Barkha Dutt (Group Editor, NDTV).

Speaking on the occasion author of the book, Isher J Alhuwalia said, "We need to ensure that our governments plan and manage our cities so as to deliver services in line with our expectations and aspirations. We need to voice our concerns when this does not happen and help bring about the change we expect. The good news is that change has begun in urban India, and it is making a difference in a few cities."

"Isher's stories cut across barriers of geography and politics as she has been so wonderfully non-partisan in choosing the datelines for her postcards. She tells you that all is not lost, and a lot more remains to be done," said Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Express Group.

Speaking on the occasion, Satyajeet Krishnan, General Manager, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi said, "In our constant endeavour to create unique and meaningful experiences, The Taj Mahal Hotel is honoured to be associated with the launch of 'Transforming our Cities- Postcards of change', by Isher Judge Ahluwalia."

"Ahluwalia, with her multidimensional experience in, brilliantly captures the stories of innovation and enterprise in her latest book. We are privileged to welcome the distinguished audience to this special evening," Krishnan added.

'Transforming our Cities' by Isher Judge Ahluwalia is a story of the change in some of India's cities that the author has observed in the course of her extensive travel in the past 4 years.

The author traveled to small town, medium cities and large mega-cities of India in search of what works to improve services delivery.

She has covered various verticals in the book, whether it is water supply, wastewater disposal and treatment, solid waste management, system of public transport, or city planning.

The book provides an overview of the challenge of urbanization in India and specific issues in individual sectors such as drinking water, solid waste management, etc., while applauding human leadership which stands out in each case, the individual case studies highlight the role of the enabling environment provide by the state government which was a key factor in driving change, leadership provided by the government of India in general and the catalytic role of JNNURM, in particular.

(Posted on 11-02-2014)

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