[mpisgmedia] international city and international experts


Pitroda’s plan to change slums in the city

Chicago’s International Institute of Design and city builder to draw up blueprint for Kalmadi’s dream

Express News Service

Pune, December 29: FORMER ADVISOR to the Rajiv Gandhi government Sam Pitroda on Wednesday said he is co-ordinating with a city-based builder and the International Institute of Design, Chicago to change the face of slums in Pune.

Speaking to mediapersons after being conferred a D.Litt by the Symbiosis International Education Center (SIEC), Pitroda reaffirmed his commitment to MP Suresh Kalmadi’s plan of rehabilitating the slums in the city. Kalmadi, had especially got Pitroda to Pune on election eve to announce a special slum rehabilitation package.

Pitroda said the Chicago institute has already started working on a sustainable business model to change the lives of slum-dwellers. Pitroda explained that the institute is working from scratch after studying the lifestyle of slum-dwellers. “They have designed a big waterbag that can be hung. It is supposed to replace the multiple cans and vessels that slum-dwellers use to store water,” he explained. Similarly, the design institute has worked out a new kind of washing system (dhobi ghat), water delivery system and even a bill payment mechanism for slum-dwellers. “The whole issue now is to develop a business model that will be patronised by the users (slum-dwellers),” said Pitroda. Sudhir Mandke, a Pune-based businessman selected for the job, said, “The first step is to stop new slums. Then, to identify existing slums and rehabilitate them,” said Mandke.

Pitroda in his speech prescribed formation of Autonomous University Commission (AUC) with freedom, flexibility and powers to expand enrollment from seven million students now to 20 million students per year in five years.

Rahul Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, in his address said there should be better match between expectations of industry and syllabi in academic institutes.

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