Given the limitation of inferior civic infrastructure in Gurgaon, the corporate citizens of this booming town have an ocean of hopes and they believe that the city has the potential to outshine any other city in the world.
This was evident at the CEO Conclave the Hindustan Times organized in Gurgaon on Tuesday on “How to make Gurgaon a Real Millennium City”. Corporate honchos, RWA representatives and trade bodies univocally voiced their concern for the city’s development.
The audience addressed their queries to the panel of Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca Cola India; Naresh Trehan, Chairman & MD, Medanta-The Medicity; Raj Jain, President, Walmart India; Sanjay Kapoor, CEO Bharti Airtel; Raman Roy, Chairman & MD, Quatrro BPO Solutions; Rajesh Khullar, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon.
“The future is here in this city. It has a soul, which other cities may not have. But it feels bad when power goes frequently and knocks of many of my medical gadgets. I preferred Gurgaon over Noida though the latter was better laid out,” said Dr. Naresh Trehan.
The corporate globetrotting citizens narrated their experiences from around the world and compared them with life in Gurgaon.
Atul Singh of Coca Cola, one of the first entrants into Gurgaon 15 years back, said he had lived in cities such as Shanghai and New York and even those cities too had problems. Gurgaon was no different.
He said, “Gurgaon could have grown at a faster pace on the infrastructure front like Pudong in China. Pudong has everything such as airport and other necessary infrastructure. Here, the government did not give the people the basic amenities, water and power. It is surprising that Gurgaon will run out of groundwater by 2017.”
When asked by one of the audiences Neel Chatterjee as to why the corporate did not think of coming together and developing the city on the lines of what Tata did to Jamshedpur, Atul Singh replied that the corporates could not replace the government. “But, yes, a common platform can be made of civil society, corporate and government to address this issue.”
The upbeat Sanjay Kapoor of Bharti Airtel said Gurgaon had grown at an amazing pace in the last 11 years and was the first city to have malls. “The government, however, failed to solve basic civic issues as we did not make it accountable.”
Addressing the audience, MCG commissioner Rajesh Khullar gave a five-point solution to city problems. He said, “City not being on the river bank has a water problem and, therefore, the citizens must have ethics to conserve water. Gurgaon residents should go and vote to elect their representatives in the forthcoming municipal elections.
The city should have its bylaws which are being worked out with top legal firm. Haryana will have more than surplus power by December 2011.”