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Forum to find civic remedies

Calcutta, May 16: A simple outsourced solution like re-timing traffic signals helped clear a huge congestion outside Jakarta, saving thousands of gallons of fuel and motorists’ precious time. Likewise, experts from Portland, Oregon, devised a five-year budgeting roadmap to help civic authorities of Rayong tide over a finance-management crisis to boost the Thai town’s borrowing credentials.

Calcutta today agreed in principle to go global, connecting with an international forum to help civic captains share international “best practices” (example, Jakarta and Portland) and improve their skills in urban management. The City Managers’ Association, West Bengal, was given shape at a workshop organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with CMDA, the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority.

The managers’ association is expected to facilitate better co-ordination in solving problems faced by civic authorities in the state on financial, technical and managerial fronts. The idea is to provide a common platform to address common problems shared by metros across the world.

“The association will answer a long-felt need for a forum to improve the functioning of various urban local bodies as we can access vital inputs in better management techniques from our counterparts in India and abroad,” said city mayor Subrata Mukherjee.

The technical support comes from the USAID/FIRE (Financial Institution Reform and Expansion) project, the National Institute of Urban Affairs and the International City/County Managers’ Association.

The global umbrella body of city managers, which has been “building quality communities through professional management” since 1914, stressed that there is great commonality in urban issues across continents.

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