BHUBANESWAR: The child-friendly smart city (CFSC) will soon be a reality as a facilitation centre has been opened at Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) office here. On Friday, BDA signed an MoU with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), which will provide funds for the CFSC.
Earlier, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), a Delhi-based autonomous body functioning under ministry of urban development, had given a proposal to the BDA to create a child-friendly smart city hub in Bhubaneswar. The NIUA has received funds from BvLF, working globally on childcare, and it will give them to BDA to implement the project.
The BDA sources said the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District, an area spread over 3.9 sq km in city, will be the focus area for implementation of CFSC. The major components of the three-year project are creation of playgrounds and public spaces for children, building traffic signal posts and zebra crossings near schools, setting up of public kiosks and other sources of information on public services, creating child-friendly public transport system and designing neighbourhoods according to the child-friendly city norms.
Baroness Julia Neuberger, board member of the BvLF, told TOI that Bhubaneswar in future will be a model for the rest of the world. London is moderately child-friendly because it has public transport, health services and exclusive play space that have been designed to suit the needs of children, said Neuberger.
According to 2011 census, 75,237 children below six years are living in the city. But the infrastructure here is inadequate to cater to the needs of children.
The BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar said 36 playgrounds and public spaces have been planned to be created across the city. Near school areas, 12 traffic signal posts and zebra crossings have been proposed. “There will be planning for zonal development for construction of safe and properly-equipped playgrounds and parks for children,” said Kumar.
There will be 10 child-friendly buses with ramps in the city and at least two child-friendly model houses, he added.
The NIUA proposal said the child-friendly public kiosks will take complaints too. A desk will be created to address child-related complaints.
Credits ET Realty