HYDERABAD: The Foundation for Futuristic Cities on Tuesday launched a contest to make Hyderabad ‘future ready’. Citizens for city will involve Hyderabadis in coming up with ideas for improving urban services in the city. The best ideas will win cash prizes and, FFC officials claim, will be included into the city development plans.
The launch was announced at a press conference by the Foundation for Futuristic Cities. Entries have been invited to prepare implementable strategies on 30 topics provided by FFC. People can also add new ideas in addition to the topics mentioned. The top three winners will be given ‘City Strategist’ awards along with cash prizes. The first prize has a cash component of Rs 1 lakh, second prize of Rs 75,000 and third prize is worth Rs 50,000 . The next 10 best teams will be presented citations. The participation fee for entering the contest is Rs 2,000 per team for students and Rs 5000 in case of others. For details contact Padmaja Iyengar (9948269211) or Som Krishna (9949279213).
The last date for entering the contest is October 15 while entries have to be sent by October 31. The stakeholders will meet in the town hall after the contest to discuss a viable plan for the city, claimed FFC officials, Karuna Gopal, president of FFC, said that involving citizens in planning for the city was important because cities were bursting at the seams. “Hyderabad was originally meant for 5 lakh people, but nearly 60 lakh people call it home today,” she said. Citing some statistics Karuna said that Hyderabad generates 4000 tonnes of garbage everyday out of which barely 50 per cent is cleared. “To have a wealthy performing nation we need performing cities,” she said.
The key to this, according to FFC officials, is to involve all the stakeholders: government, corporates, citizens, NGOs etc. The inputs of all are essential for creating a dynamic city, they said. “The performance of business houses depends on the services that cities provide them and if they are inadequate then the businesses move out, for instance Infosys moved from Bangalore to Mysore,” said Karuna Gopal.
Srinivas Chary Vedala, director of the Administrative Staff College of India Centre for Energy, Environment and Urban Governance, said that there was a law at the national level that mandated community participation in the implementation of urban projects.
“This is an important tool for citizens to get involved in the planning of their city,” he said. “The goal of the contest is to find solutions locked up in the minds of hearts of Hyderabadis,” said Karuna. Y Harishchandra Prasad, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry- AP Chapter and one of the co-sponsors of the contest said that urban areas are neglected by politicians because they “Go chasing after rural voters, and ultimately, nothing gets done”. He added that Hyderabad and other cities had witnessed urban decay, but that citizens had to take the initiative to stem the rot.