Bhubaneswar: The two sister cities Cupertino and Bhubaneswar will have long-term ties by having students exchange programmes of middle school students, cultural exchanges from two cities and technology-driven applications in which Cupertino is well-known in the world and environment-friendly measures in which the UT-based hi-tech city has a leading presence.
The middle school students exchange, according to the proposal placed by the Mayor of Cupertino city Savita Vaidhyanathan students from families of Bhubaneswar will go to Cupertino and vice versa and it will create a bonding between the families. Recently students from Toyokaya were there in Cupertino and when they left the families from Cupertino, all were in tears. After the World War II the Sister Cities concept as the then US president and UK prime minister proposed that if the cities will have better ties, irrespective of federal government, then the world will have fewer wars in future.
Cultural exchanges will include exchange of dancing groups from Odisha as dancers like Sujata Mohapatra and Rahul Acharya have already visited Cupertino to have Odissi shows there. Students from an orphanage from Bhubaneswar has also visited Cupertino in the past. However, the Cupertino Mayor and founding members of the Cupertino Bhubaneswar Sister Cities Initiative want regular interactions in the coming days to come.
Welcoming the guests from Cupertino City in California, USA, Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said “the Sister Cities link has started in November, 2012, but it would go a long way in providing a unique collaboration between the two cities with rich knowledge and technology-based economy and another with a golden treasure of ancient art, culture, heritage and unique architecture.’’
Jena also highlighted how from the historic city Bhubaneswar has transformed into a Smart City with a vision to have a child-friendly future habitation.
Municipal Commissioner Dr. Krishan Kumar also proposed three areas of cooperation between the two cities in his speech i.e. Technology, heritage and culture and exchange programmes for better cooperation.
He also hoped that in future days the two sister cities could have better cooperation to have use of IT tools in daily life for better citizen services, heritage conservation and tourism promotion as Bhubaneswar has got 361 monuments out of which 24 are monuments of national importance, idea application to take Bhubaneswar to the next level of smart application mode.
He also spoke about exploration of business and investment opportunities in the second Info Valley Project which would have floodgate of opportunities in over 700 acres of land for another IT park as the present IT park has almost become over saturated.
MLAs Bhubaneswar (Central) and (North) Bijay Kumar Mohanty and Priyadarshi Mishra, respectively spoke on the occasion. Mishra described his visit to Cupertino City in 2010 as a delegate for the Invest Bhubaneswar initiative and hoped that the Cupertino Bhubaneswar Sister City Initiative (CBSCI) would help our city as a passport for cooperation to other cities and areas in USA.
Cupertino Mayor’s husband Rammurthy Vaidhyanathan, a senior IT expert based in the Silicon Valley and co-founders of CBSCI Mahesh Pakala and Reena Pattanaik Rao from Cupertino also were present at the meeting.
Later speaking at the meeting Mahesh Pakala from CBSCI said “there could be exchange of students between families of two cities from the middle school level, adult exchange programme for knowledge gathering for better city management capabilities and IT-based knowledge sharing.’’
The CBSCI co-chair, however, stressed that the city authorities should give more focus for tourism development, soft-skills like better guiding and managing tourists and foreign guests.
CBSCI co-chair Reena Pattanaik Rao also spoke on the occasion and requested the august House to send delegates to Cupertino City for better reciprocation and development of a strong bonding.
City Engineer Dwaipayana Pattanayak presented a brief overview on the functioning of the civic administration and there was also an official presentation on the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited describing the entire Smart City Project and how a major part is linked to IT-based planning in its Pan-City Proposal.