Delhi, Seoul sign MoU to tackle air pollution, improve infrastructure

Sep 17, 2018 16:37 IST
Delhi, Seoul sign MoU to tackle air pollution, improve infrastructure

The Delhi government on September 14, 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to work closely in the fields of environment, tourism, waste water and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health.

The Mou on the 'Friendship and Cooperation Agreement' was signed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Seoul mayor Park Won-Soon in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The Delhi CM particularly sought the city’s expertise in dealing with transport and air pollution.

He expressed hope that Delhi will develop on the lines of Seoul which has emerged as a beautiful city in the past 68 years despite being ravaged in the Korean War in 1950.

'Friendship and Cooperation Agreement'

Key highlights

The agreement has listed 11 areas for exchange of expertise and cooperation including environment, culture, tourism, smart city, transportation, education, land use planning and management, science and technology, MICE industry, waste water and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health.

It requires the two capital cities- New Delhi and Seoul- to set up and operationalise a 'Twinning Cell' and a committee to support the cell for easy communication and knowledge sharing.

The cell will support activity related workshops, conduct community participation activities and help maintain documentation.

The annual reports of the cell would be sent to the Ministry concerned of the two cities. In case of Delhi, the reports would be sent to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Delhi government will seek the support of its Urban Development Department and other departments for implementing all the relevant aspects of the agreement.

Besides this, the agreement calls for regular meetings between the two cities to communicate over the programmes, projects and activities to be undertaken under it. The cities will develop an annual joint action plan and ensure financial resources to support the exchanges and activities.

Duration

The 'Twinning Agreement' will remain in force till three years from September 14, 2018, and it could be amended by written agreement between the two parties.

Authorities In-charge

The Principal Secretary (Urban Development), Delhi government and Director General, International Cooperation Bureau, Seoul, will be the nodal officers for the agreement.

Key Challenges faced by Delhi Government

Air pollution: Air pollution is a major issue faced by Delhi almost throughout the year and especially during winter. Since the past two years, Delhi has witnessed very severe smog during winter.

Landfill Management: Delhi with four towering landfills is still struggling when it comes to dealing with it.

Water Crisis: The only river passing through Delhi- Yamuna- is facing serious water pollution problems. Hence, Delhi faces an acute water crisis every summer as it is dependent on neighbouring states for the supply.

Public Transport: Though Delhi’s public transport system has seen vast improvement with the advent of the new metro lines and low floor buses, the state government is still trying to improve the experience, as the use of public transport will be key to fighting pollution and reducing congestion.

In fact, the Delhi Master Plan aims to have 80 per cent ridership using public transport by 2021.

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