Citizens discuss Smart city development plan in Panaji

The final blueprint to put Panaji on the ‘Smart City’ map was discussed at the stakeholder consultation meeting on Friday. Though citizens’ suggestions were invited by the corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP), not many turned up for the meeting. The low turnout was quite surprising considering the various problems Panaji is facing.

The IT-enabled municipal service delivery and solid waste management have emerged as key focus areas of development for the city.

CCP commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues, along with the team of consultants from IClEI-South Asia, presented the draft blueprint for the city.

The proposed sky walk from KTC bus stand to Patto was voted out as citizens present said it would be a waste of public money as “sky walks are rarely used”. It was also pointed out that the skywalk at Miramar is barely used. Rodrigues had also raised his objection to the skywalk which was proposed by the tourism department.

Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Rodrigues said they received 18,000 suggestions . The suggestions received helped draft the blueprint.

The smart city project required citizens to collaborate and select initiatives under two categories – a pan city initiative which will benefit the city as a whole and a specific area based development.

It was proposed that a special purpose vehicle (SPV) be created to look into the execution of all aspects related to the smart city project. A ten member board of directors , headed by a chief executive officer, has been proposed to oversee progress.

Panaji has been selected in the list of 100 smart cities under the Smart City Mission launched by the Union ministry of urban development in July. Panaji is competing to get short listed among the 20 cities that will be developed on a priority basis as part of the challenge.

Taking the smart route

The Smart City project requires citizens to collaborate and select initiatives under two categories: a pan city initiative and a specific area based development

Under the pan city initiative: 30% citizens voted for mobility, 20% for waste management, 15% for e-governance and 13% each for health and education

Under area-based development: 40% voted for upgradation and retro-fitting of conservation zone, 30% for redevelopment of underdeveloped pockets for urban poor, 16% for redevelopment of the government colony at St Inez, Altinho and Patto,12% voted for new development at Kadamba plateau

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