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Press Release on the Visit of Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development to Washington, DC

Washington, DC
January 13, 2010

Dr. M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development. Government of India, visited Washington DC on January 10-13, 2010. On January 12 he and Ambassador Mrs. Meera Shankar met with Hon’ble Shaun Donovan, Secretary, US Department of Housing and Urban Development. They exchanged views on the challenges being faced by both countries in urban planning and development and agreed to deepen the engagement between the two departments to identify priority areas of cooperation in urban development sector. The areas discussed include the municipal bond market, urban sanitation, energy efficiency, development of national building standards, capacity building, public private partnership, and safety and security of the urban transport systems.

On January 11, Secretary Dr. Ramachandran met with Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, US Federal Transit Administration and reviewed the implementation of the India – US Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007 between the US Department of Transportation and the Ministry of Urban Development of India. They agreed to strengthen cooperation in priority areas including on the safety and security of the urban transport systems. Secretary Ramachandran invited Administrator Peter Rogoff to visit India to attend the Urban Mobility India – Conference and Expo being held in New Delhi during December 3-5, 2010. 

On January 10, Secretary Dr. Ramachandran addressed 89th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Bureau of the US Department of Transportation held in Washington DC. On January 12, he delivered a keynote address on the ‘Urban Renewal in India – Opportunities for the Private Sector’ at a business event organized by the US India Business Council. During these meetings he highlighted the success story of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNRUM) which has seen a catalytic investment of over US $ 10 billion in urban sectors such as transport, water and waste water management, solid waste management, housing and slum infrastructure across 63 ‘mission cities’ in India. He also mentioned the National Urban Transport Policy (2006), which provides strategic guidance for an increasing number of regional and local initiatives to improve urban mobility across India’s states and cities. 

Indian City Wins the Sustainable Transport Award 2010

The Indian city of Ahmadabad received the prestigious ‘Sustainable Transport Award 2010’. The award was handed over to the Ahmadabad city officials, in the presence of Dr. M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, at a function on the sidelines of the 89th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Bureau held in Washington DC on January 12. Each year, the Sustainable Transport Award is given to a city that has a profound impact on lessening the impact of climate change and enhances the sustainability and livability of its community or region through innovative transportation strategies that increase mobility for all, while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions, and improving safety and access for bicyclists and pedestrians. The past winners of the award include Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York (2009); Mayor Bertrand Delanoe of Paris (2008); Mayor Ken Livingston of London (2008), Mayor Jaime Nebot Guayquil of Ecuador (2007); Mayor Myung-Bak Lee of Seoul (2006) and Mayor Enrique Penalosa of Bogota (2005).