At Varanasi, inputs sought from local experts on ‘Smart city’

VARANASI: The Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) has invited local residents, social organisations and expert committees seeking suggestions for preparing the Smart City proposal for the second phase of the project. The proposal is to be prepared by June 15.

The city, which is parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, failed on sanitation scale figuring among the last 10 cities on the scale of sanitation. In this list, released on February 15 by the Union ministry of urban development Varanasi was placed at 65th position among 73 cities.

Following the setback, municipal authorities have now decided to seek suggestions via public consultation, social media, essay and debate competition in schools and also people-friendly platforms, wherein denizens can offer their suggestion on ways to convert Varanasi into a smart city.

As a part of their outreach programme, VMC has already started its series of essay competitions in schools, colleges as well as universities which began from May 6. Prizes have also been announced for top three winners which will be chosen by a selected panel. Besides, to engage the locals, the corporation is inviting NGOs, eminent city personalities and other esteemed organisations to collaborate with the VMC and hold workshops to seek suggestions.

According to municipal commissioner Shrihari Pratap Shahi, the second phase of the project, that kicked off from April 1, will go on till June 30 while the Smart City proposal needs to be prepared latest by June 15. As many as 40 cities will be selected for the second phase of the project, likely to be announced by June end.

Meanwhile, the ideas that need to be sought from the people include smart city solutions to be taken for a pan city initiative like e-governance and citizen services, waste, water and energy management, urban mobility, among others while the area based development project focuses on three key areas – retro-fitting, redevelopment and greenfield development that will cover 500 acre, 50 acre and 250 acres, respectively. Out of 100 marks set out for evaluation of smart city proposal, 30 have been set aside for citizens’ participation in preparation of final draft and rest on civic body’s report card, he added.

Hence, to ensure peoples’ participation, the VMC is exhorting educational institutions, social and voluntary organisations, among others to organise workshops for the same. For seeking suggestions based on pan-city initiative and area based development, corporation will also organise offline and online polling. For the latter, denizens can log onto, or take to social media pages besides writing emails to

Taking a lesson from the errors in the first Smart City proposal, the municipal commissioner has asked locals to opt for solutions listed in e-governance section of pan city initiative rather than traffic mobility and solid waste management and for area based development, the denizens have been asked to choose areas in old Kashi or Sarnath for retro-fitting and between Varuna, Asi and Ganga riverfront regions for redevelopment.

Credits ET Realty

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