- Project Mumbai, in association with the Government of Maharashtra, held the Mumbai 2.0 conference, hosting some of the senior-most bureaucrats and influencers
- The event was graced by the presence of Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri. Devendra Fadnavis and Hon. Minister of Roads and Shipping Shri. Nitin Gadkari, as well as by Hon. Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Shri. Suresh Prabhu
- Among attendees were Mr Sachin Tendulkar, Mr Shah Rukh Khan, and Mr Ronnie Screwala, along with the leadership of various corporates and activist groups
Mumbai, India, December 1, 2018 — Project Mumbai held the ‘Mumbai 2.0’ conference, in association with the Government of Maharashtra, in an invite-only event at The Crystal Room, The Taj Mahal Palace hotel, on the 3rd of December 2018.
Beginning with an inaugural speech by the Co-Founder and CEO of Project Mumbai, Mr Shishir Joshi, the event quickly reminisced the contributions and reflections of the first such gathering way back in 2015 – the ‘Mumbai Next’ event. A lot has indeed been achieved over the last few years in the new administration, with the Metro networks finally witnessing a city-wide implementation across multiple routes, along with the much-awaited inauguration of multiple mega-infrastructure projects, such as the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
The event kicked off with a message directly sourced from the Prime Minister’s Office, in the form of a letter penned by Hon. Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, highlighting the central role played by the city of Mumbai in leading various metrics of urban habitation and economic measures in India. Indeed, ranging from the largest and most widely-participated marathon event in India to producing the largest city GDP figures, to being home to the most expensive real estate assets overall, Mumbai does have a lot that it can claim sole possession over.
What followed were two charismatic speeches, both by Union Ministers of high repute. First up was Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Hon. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation. Mr Gadkari spoke on a number of key initiatives planned for the city of Mumbai, most prominent of which remains the eastern development of a massive 17-acre tract of land – owned by the Mumbai Port Trust. This landmark development has been facilitated in a manner that will exclude any commercial exploitation or real estate project development that may not be to the benefit of the larger public. Moreover, an international cruise terminal valued at around ₹1000 crore is also planned as part of the same development plan devised by the Mumbai Port Trust.
Next up was Shri. Suresh Prabhu, Hon. Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, and Civil Aviation. He remarked on the highly business efficient nature of the city’s functioning, and the spirit of the city itself being ingrained through its entrepreneurial essence. Further, the fact that it is a coastal city did not escape his notice when pointing out the dangers of global warming and the concerted need to formulate a comprehensive response to climate change through a framework approach, one in which Mumbai can definitely take a lead in.
A five-minute audio-visual presentation prepared by the Government of Maharashtra glanced through pretty much every major infrastructure project that has found a footing, either in the implementation stage or in the planning stage, within the aegis of the Government of Maharashtra. Ranging from the various metro lines that are under implementation in the city to the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) that will link Sewri to Nhava Sheva, the video highlighted a number of initiatives with approximate costs for each such infrastructure project. Most importantly, the expected completion deadlines for most fell within the next five years, indicating a massive shift from the way such projects were targeted in earlier regimes when deadlines often extended over half a decade.
The rest of the proceedings covered intense interactive sessions, flagged off by Mr Hazem Galal (Global Leader for Cities and Local Government, Pricewaterhouse Coopers) through his insightful address.
Three moderated panel discussions followed, with the who’s who of corporate India as well as some senior bureaucrats participating with utmost gusto. Ranging from Mr Uday Kotak, to Mr Sanjay Reddy, and even Mr Ronnie Screwvala on the corporate end, to the esteemed bureaucracy represented by Mr Amitabh Kant (CEO, NITI Aayog), Mr Praveen Pardeshi (Additional Chief Secretary to the Hon. Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra), Mr R. A. Rajeev (Metropolitan Commissioner, M.M.R.D.A.) and Mr Ajoy Mehta (Municipal Commissioner, M.C.G.M.) among other distinguished dignitaries, the panel discussions were full of vivacious opinions and filled with experiential insights.
The panel discussion on infrastructure, chaired by Mr Kant, focused on some of the points already raised by Mr Gadkari, including “…the rapid introduction of water-based transport and the resultant disruptive effects on Mumbai’s economy…”, as argumentatively ensconced again by Mr Pardeshi.
On employment and job creation, the panel discussion, moderated by Mr Kotak, highlighted the magnetic forces surrounding the geography of India, which effectively oozed out any potential to develop air transit hubs in India itself. “Even if one major airline were to base itself in India, say in the new Navi Mumbai International Airport, the domino effect would only compound the positives and will prove to be supportive in any efforts to re-centralize aviation in South Asia towards India. The long running joke that Dubai is the transit hub of India will only then begin to fade…”, remarked Mr Reddy, Vice Chairman of GVK, which runs the Mumbai and Bengaluru international airports.
Towards the final-third of the event, the flavour of discussions turned much softer and deeper, touching upon the cultural aspects of this historic city. Following a panel discussion chaired by Mr Screwvala on the quality of life in Mumbai, the Hon. Chief Minister’s address comprised a number of nuances that made Mumbai a heartwarming and forthcoming city. Right from his early days as an MLA based out of Nagpur, he described himself as a ‘non-resident Mumbaikar’, noting his constant travel to the city for over twenty years before his stint as the State of Maharashtra’s second youngest Chief Minister.
When Mr Shah Rukh Khan finally arrived to participate in the last part of the event – a Q&A with the Chief Minister himself – the event suddenly transformed into a conversation that peeked into the two adoptive sons’ backstory of experiencing the city’s ‘apnapan’, or belongingess that Mumbai has oodles to offer. Mr Khan, at his wittiest, joked about the traffic that prevented him from reaching on time for his session with the Chief Minister, and also found time to quip about what he described as the three most important ‘Cs’ that this city should focus on in the years to come – Competition, Creativity, and Culture. A good culture would breed creativity, which in turn would lead to a healthy competition – between companies, among governmental agencies, and of course, between the various individuals engaged in making Mumbai the city that never sleeps.
About Project Mumbai
Project Mumbai is a not for profit Public trust. People, Purpose and Positive change remain its objectives and it is committed to playing the role of a catalyst between civil society and the policymakers. Primarily, it will also engage in initiatives of change at the ground level, impacting people’s lives.
Project Mumbai has been set up by Leaders of the private sector, civil society, and Industry captains.
Recently, Project Mumbai launched The Mumbai Plastic Recyclothon, a massive plastic donation and collection drive across Mumbai. The donated plastic will now be recycled and converted into Benches, meant exclusively for senior citizens, across the gardens and open spaces of Mumbai. The MCGM has approved this project. A massive Plastic Art work, part of the donated plastic, will come up in MMRDA too.
Project Mumbai can be reached on www.projectmumbai.org