A ‘Smart City’ with Smart Suggestions!

Speaking at a programme about the Nagpur Smart City initiative, Mr. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister, shared his experience during a Rajya Sabha session where 10 cities were announced under the Smart City project. As soon as someone took the name of Nagpur, the first question that popped up in his head was how to transform a city which gets submerged under water just after 2 hours of rain into a world-class Smart City. To make the Smart City project a success, active participation as well as suggestions from its citizens is imperative. It is the need of the hour to resolve the existing water issues, optimum utilization of irrigation projects and completely transform the city into a wireless Smart City. He also cited the example of ‘Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan’, an initiative undertaken to curb water scarcity in the State of Maharashtra; in which Rs. 300 crores were raised by the Corporate sector and the people together.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Sakal Media Group (SMG), together organized a ‘Concept Discussion’ meeting at Sai Hall on Monday, 19th October, to discuss the existing problems in the city. On this occasion, Mr. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister; Mr. Pravin Datake, City Mayor; Mr. Shravan Hardikar, Commissioner and Mr. Abhijit Pawar, Managing Director, Sakal Media Group were present at this meeting. Mr. Pravin Datake, City Mayor, put forward his opinion about the Smart City concept and said, “Nagpur is one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the Western part of India. People who live in the northern, east-west and southern part of the city have a different set of problems altogether. They have a different perspective about how a ‘Smart City’ should be. The aim here is to come up with a collective solution, and take the city in a direction which is suitable for all its citizens. So far, the Nagpur Sudhar Pranyas and the Municipal Corporation were working independently towards catering to the needs of their citizens. Now, both the organizations will be working closely together with the active participation of the common man; which will make the ‘Smart City’ initiative easier to implement.”

Mr. Shravan Hardikar explained, “Rs. 1,000 crores will be funded towards the Nagpur Smart City initiative. Out of which, 50% of the amount will be given by the Central Government, 25% from the State Government and the remaining 25% will be provided by the City Corporation. However, the estimated amount for a project of this scale and magnitude is roughly around Rs 25,000 crores. To gather such huge funds, there is a need of Self-Funded & Private-Public Collaboration for many projects. The actual concept of ‘Smart City’ means a sustainable city that can provide collective growth to all the sectors of society for a long period of time.”

Mr. Abhijit Pawar enlightened the audience with his view of the Smart City initiative; and concluded with how the word SMART stands for ‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely’ goals when we undertake an initiative like this.

Translated from Dainik Bhaskar. Read the original article in Hindi here.