SURAT: US-based Rockefeller Foundation has started the process of building resilient strategies for the Diamond City, after it was selected among the 32 Resilient City (RC) of the world in December 2013.
In a first ever workshop held at a hotel here on Saturday, representatives of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, descended on the Diamond City under the leadership of its president Michael Berkowitz.
The 100 RCs will help Surat in the appointment of a chief resilient officer and providing financial and logistical guidance in setting up the infrastructure to pin point model resilient strategies. It will also help the city in building up resilient strategies along with other cities of the world, identified by 100 RCs.
Michael Berkowitz said, "We have selected Surat as one of the top 32 cities of the world, for its integrated innovative local leadership. Diamond City's experience of building resilience during the natural disasters like plague and floods is known world over. This city rose like a phoenix, which no other city in the world could have done."
Berkowitz added, "In this organization, we do not want any approach to be one-sided. We want cities which can give back, and Surat is the best example of this symbiotic relationship."
The Rockefeller Foundation has come up with $100 million fund for 100 RCs. This money will be used in the appointment of chief resilient officer, to build bridges of cooperation among selected cities, help cities to outline their strategies and in their implementation over a period of three years.
The first list of 32 cities among 100 cities was announced in Decmeber 2013, which included five cities of Asia. Surat was the only city from India.
Mayor Niranjan Janjmera said, "The whole world knows the resilient efforts of the city. Now, it is time for us to start sharing our experience."
Municipal commissioner Milind Torawane said, "Living in a flood-prone zone and being persistently threatened by natural calamities like floods, we have to equip ourselves with strategies. Health of an individual is more important as that will translate into community health. "
Police commissioner Rakesh Asthana said, "The diamond city has been a target of terrorists in 1992 and 2008. The city was lucky that the planted bombs did not explode. To make the city safe, CCTV surveillance was started."