SUBJECT :Smart City 

 Having missed the list of the first 20 smart cities in January, Chandigarh today entered the Smart City Mission with the Centre announcing the name of the UT among 13 more cities to be developed as smart cities.

While Lucknow topped the list of winners of the "Fast Track Competition" conducted for 23 cities from as many states and union territories, Chandigarh was placed at the fourth position.

Announcing this in New Delhi, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the cities, that participated in this competition after failing to get a representation in the first round of competition held in January, improved the quality of smart city plans by up to over 25 per cent to become eligible for selection. Upbeat over the announcement, city Mayor Arun Sood and Municipal Commissioner B Purushartha said the smart city tag would give a fresh impetus to the development of the city.

The Mayor clarified that no extra tax would be levied on the residents for the implementation of smart city proposals. Purushartha said the project would be implemented in two parts – area-based development (ABD) and  a pan-city proposal. The ABD would first be implemented in four sectors -- 17, 22, 35 and 43 -- on a pilot project basis and if found successful, it would be implemented in other sectors as well.

SPV to implement project

The Chandigarh smart city project will be implemented by a special purpose vehicle (SPV). It will be a joint venture between the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation on a 50:50 sharing basis. It is estimated that the total cost of the project will be Rs 6,200 crore, including Rs 250 crore for the pan-city proposal and Rs 5,950 crore for the ABD. A total equity of Rs 1,000 crore will be invested by the two stakeholders. Funds for the smart city proposal will be made available from the convergence of other central schemes while some of the projects will be funded through private sector.

Focus on safety, innovation New opportunities for the youth to do innovation, better health and safety of the citizens, pedestrian-friendly roads, non-motorised transportation and easy access to public transport are among the revised smart city proposals. 

Under the plan, the city will be developed as a vibrant regional centre that builds upon its strong social, intellectual and cultural heritage. Chandigarh will emerge as a healthy and sustainable city where health and safety of the citizens is of primary importance.


Salient features

  • Vehicle-free zones in internal areas of Sector 17.
  • Press building in Sector 18 to be developed as incubation centre for start-up companies.
  • Smart metering for power, water consumers and introducing bicycle trail in Leisure Valley.
  • Urban design of public plazas, space for active recreation such as art/culture bazaars and food courts.
  • “Pedestrianisation” of Jan Marg on weekends by organising active art fairs, mobile food outlets, yoga, active sports and street shows.
  • Unified portal to access services with a personalised profile-based mobile app which will act as one-stop app and gateway to enable two-way citizen engagement.
  • Intelligent multi-nodal command and control centre to control water, police fire systems, health, disaster management and traffic.
  • “Transitioning” diesel-operated auto-rickshaws to e-rickshaws over time.
  • Electric buses (refurbishment of existing buses) for the ABD and battery-operated buses for intra movement in Sector 17 to aid non-motorised movement in the ABD area.
  • Pedestrian signage, way-finding and public bike sharing.
  • Smart signalling and traffic surveillance.
  • ITS application in public transport, including smart ticketing, vehicle tracking and passenger information system.
  • Smart on-street parking.
  • 24x7 water supply.
  • Recycled water supply.
  • Sidewalk improvements, accessible sidewalks for differently abled and comprehensive bicycle network.
  • Installation of solar-based LED streetlighting along with installation of new light poles along streets and public parks.
  • Solar power plants on rooftops.

What leaders say

The fresh smart city proposal was prepared by hiring a professional agency. I  thank UT Adviser Parimal Rai for keeping me in the loop due to which I  made special efforts to convince the Centre for the inclusion of Chandigarh’s name in the second list. I  wasn’t involved in the smart city proposal submitted by the UT Administration a few months ago. — Kirron Kher, MP

It will bring no change to the lives of city residents, who have been living  without electricity and water.  There is already a cut in the annual Plan budget. The government has snatched rations and kerosene  from the poor by stopping the distribution  of these items through the  PDS. Besides, the hike in the prices of the essential commodities  and petrol  has made their lives miserable. — Pardeep Chhabra, city cong chief

"Residents wanted to see the name of Chandigarh in the smart city list. However, Congress leaders never took it seriously due to which Chandigarh missed the chance. When the BJP won the mayoral elections, its first priority was to get the smart city tag for Chandigarh and finally its name has been included." — Sanjay tandon, city BJP chief


Team work made it possible 

  • Professional approach, team work and dedication of officers made it possible for the city to enter the smart city list.
  • From top to bottom, all those involved in the project worked hard to ensure that the city did not fail this  time.
  • Soon after taking charge, UT Adviser Parimal  Rai made efforts  in this direction. The UT Administrator and the MP were informed about each move, besides holding a number of meetings in New Delhi. A consultant with professional expertise was hired to prepare the plan. B  Purushartha, MC Commissioner, was made the nodal officer to oversee the  preparations.

Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh