We Need To Adopt The Best Practices From Model Cities In India And Around The World
“Every city has something new and unique and that is where you can bring in about the important changes from and make our cities beautiful. If we can replicate good prayogs (experiments) from in and around various cities in India, we can make the difference,” said Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar
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It is not the big things that matter but small initiatives that can drive the big change in the cities of future. Emphasizing on this at the BW Businessworld Smart Cities Conclave in Patna today, Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar said, “Small interventions can bring in big changes. Certain important aspects that need to be taken into consideration are, for example, there are hardly any playgrounds for kids to play in our cities, pedestrians do not have proper footpaths to walk on, there are no dedicated lanes or tracks for bicycles at the roadsides, lack of ultra-modern and air-conditioned auditoriums in cities etc., all these small problems need immediate attention.”
Modi highlighted the difference small experiments can make to our cities. “Every city has something new and unique and that is where you can bring in about the important changes from and make our cities beautiful. If we can replicate good prayogs (experiments) from in and around various cities in India, we can make the difference,” Modi asserted.
Talking about the vikas (development) in its true sense, he stated, “One of the most important parameters of Vikas is urbanization. The progress of a city can be ascertained by the amount of urbanization it has done. Tamil Nadu, in this case, is in good stead amongst the Indian cities with a massive 48 per cent urbanization rate. Bihar, on the other hand, has 11 per cent rate, which means 89 per cent of people live in villages here.”
He also maintained, “You cannot stop people from coming to the urban area as that is a given. People from rural areas migrate to cities in search of better facilities, employment opportunities, and a good living standard. But, in order to sustain such a large population is where the concept of smart cities kicks in and this is where the latest technologies, need to be harnessed to make our cities smart and sustainable. If we predict that 20 years in advance, we can bring development now.”
Talking about the other critical concerns such as solid waste management, Modi expressed, “The door to door garbage collection is a major bottleneck here as there is no agency that specialises in it. The fundamental thing as garbage collection is a big challenge and then the waste disposal is also another concern. The waste in India is not segregated which poses a peculiar challenge, such as electronic and bio-medical waste, the arrangements for their disposal is a big issue. Hence, these small things pose bigger challenges for authorities.”
He also stressed on the importance of a smart surveillance system as an important aspect of a smart city. Citing examples of other cities adopting interesting models to save costs, Modi enunciated, “Hyderabad has a very engaging model to cut cost, offices spaces, and complexes, where more than 50 people visit throughout a day, have to mandatorily install CCTV cameras from their pockets. These things are not new but tried and tested. Also, the plantation is also another area which we need to ensure in urban areas. China has 5 layers of plantation concept which needs to be replicated in our cities as well.”
Giving an interesting point of view on the resources needed for the various projects in smart cities, Modi avowed, “The money is not a constraint at all if we use the resources efficiently and have the will to make the dream of smart cities possible.”
Four cities Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Biharsharif and Patna are chosen for funding under the Government’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission of which the Patna Smart city project involves an estimated expenditure of over Rs. 2,700 crore where Rs. 930 crore will be provided by the Centre and the State Government.