Environment Seminar 2008

Seminar:“ A two-day seminar on the “Shaping of Navi Mumbai: Its Physical Environment  and Social Issues” was organized jointly by Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on 4th and 5th October 2008, at IWSA.

The inaugural session on the 4th October opened with a welcome address by Dr. S. Padhye (IWSA Founder member-trustee). Dr. B. S. Mahajan (President, IWSA and Convener of the seminar) and Prof. R.N. Sharma (of TISS and another Convener of the seminar) addressed the purpose of the seminar and the physical and social themes, respectively.  The key-note address was delivered by Mr. P.M. Deshpande (ex-Chief Engr, CIDCO). The first day sessions included “Physical Environment and Infrastructure” and “Waste Management, Energy and Health Scenario”.  Eminent speakers like Mr. M.B. Dagaonkar (Chief Engr., CIDCO), Dr. Gauri Pandit (Scientist, BARC), Prof. B.S. Mahajan (Retd. Scientist from HBCSE), Dr. T.N. Mahadevan (Ex-BARC), Ms. S. Marathe (Engr., BMC), Mr. S. Mule (Engr., CIDCO), Dr. S. Nayak (Reader, K.B. College, Navi Mumbai), Dr. A.K. Sahu (NSWAI), Mr. Navin Chandra (Engr.), etc., covered crucial topics like environmental status of Navi Mumbai, air quality assessment, rain water harvesting, HEAL:- Study of city’s environment, GIS data from HEAL, carbon credits and energy, waste management, biofuels from domestic wastes, hazardous wastes, health care in Navi Mumbai and co-operative steps for sustainability etc.

On 5th October, social science topics were addressed under the titles of “Social capital of Navi Mumbai – Past, present and future and ‘Citizens, civil society and need for interventions’. The speakers were drawn from social science and included specialists like Prof. S. Banerjee (TISS), Dr. R.K. Jha (Reliance), Adv. R. Thakur, Mrs. J. Mapsekar (Stree Mukti Sangatana ), Prof. R.N. Sharma (T.I. S.S.) and Dr. Vijayaraghavan (Ex–BARC).  The topics covered were: Political economy of transformation for the city, changing demographic and economic scenario, transport sector  and land use planning, project affected persons (PAPs) in the city, issues of slums, human face of waste management, safety and security of citizens, and rights and responsibilities of citizens”. 

The seminar was concluded with an open session on the ‘Evaluation of civil society in Navi Mumbai’ with panelists A.K. Bhattacharya (NGO head), Adv. R. Thakur and MS. Shobha Murthy (educationist) giving their expert inputs.  Subsequently, as a result of the deliberations in the open session, a list of Resolutions from the Delegates were drawn by the conveners and submitted to the commissioner, NMMC and the M.D., CIDCO, for follow-up action so that  Navi Mumbai can be made a more sustainable city. It was decided to have more of such seminars to focus attention on this planned city.

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