Bengaluru, which failed twice to make it to the list of the Centre’s smart cities mission, is making a final bid this time with lots of competition and less funds left. The city is pitching for the development of its CBD, rather than its entirety, to be eligible for the Rs 500-cr fund
‘Fix Roads, Break Garbage Mafia’
According to Misra, ‘smart’ means liveable and Bengaluru has to tackle three key issues to become a smart city-traffic, garbage, water and sanitation.
“This is an opportunity to make significant investment in transformational changes.“
Invest in automated traffic management. Signals should be auto mated and synchronised and cameras at every signal to capture violations.
Fix broken roads, close medians and disallow u-turns and right turns other than at a traffic signal.
Design systems that will break the waste mafia. Incentivise reduction of waste and smart management. Payment must be made not based on the number of truck rides and the distance but how clean the area is.
It can be monitored through cameras or crowd-sourcing of geo-tagged, time-stamped photographs from citizens. Similarly, for debris management.
Storm water drains should not take sewage into the lakes. They should go around the lake. Let in only a minimum amount of treated water into the lake every day.
‘Engage Citizens in Civic Work’
Regardless of whether Bengaluru makes it to the list of smart cities under the central mission, it can become a smart city by making a few changes, Sudhira said, adding that people play an important role, too.
Bengaluru had a bad voter turn out rate compared to smaller districts. There is a need for focussed engagement where all people work in a collective activity -starting from something as simple as the Neralu tree festival.
We need smart organisational structures. Agencies such as BBMP, BDA and Bescom were set up decades ago and need revamping to function effectively.
Our financing mechanisms need to be revisited. If we build on Brand Bengaluru, and present it as a holistic lot, rather than as individual entities, such as Bescom and BMTC, anybody -even private entities -will be willing to fund its projects.
Take the Karnataka Country Planning Act from 1961. To be dynamic, we need smarter laws.
TS Muralidhar, nodal officer, Smart City Project, said that Bengaluru‘s proposal to be included in the the list of smart cities needs only fine-tuning two months ahead of the deadline. “We are focusing on core areas under the central business district and showcasing all the development and smart solutions we have planned on key roads and locations,“ he said, adding that public transport and scientific way of water distribution were also included.
Credits ET Realty