Smart Punekars - can we stop debating and start executing!

On 25 June 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 14 Smart Proposals/Projects for Pune. This inauguration is gestural and all the first round of Smart Cities will begin the execution phase of their respective Smart Solutions/Projects in their respective areas.

As per the Smart Cities Proposal submitted by the Pune Municipal Corporation under the Smart Cities Mission, the single most issue that Pune's citizens had highlighted was the issue of Transport & Mobility. From a city of cyclists, Pune has come a long way to become a City that's stuck in a Traffic Jam. Mobility, one of the most primary requirements of economic activity is seriously affected in the city. Mobility is directly linked to employment opportunities and economic growth. While mobility is linked to pollution, congestion etc, most people do not realise that its impact on economic opportunities is far far greater than the impact on environment like air quality.

The second most important issue highlighted by Pune's citizens was water supply. This was a bit of a surprise considering that Pune is fortunate to have more than average water consumption per capita in comparison to many other cities in the country. However, the equitable water supply, remains elusive in Pune and thus, this was a target put forth in the Smart City Proposal for Pune.

The Smart City Proposal for Pune was an opportunity under the Smart City Mission to create pilots that would otherwise not be a priority under regular Municipal working. And I think, Pune, really cashed on this opportunity and objective to emerge a forerunner amongst other cities. The 14 proposals and a quick summary is as under:

1. Sustainable Livelihood Centre - This is in tune with the Skilling India Initiative that aims to engage youth in skills and thereby open up employment opportunities to him/her.

2. Slum Rehabilitation of Babasaheb Ambedkar Slum in Aundh - the objective is to showcase a pilot that can be undertaken under the Housing for All scheme. If this proves to be a success, it's model can then be expanded to other parts of the city.

3. Street and Pedestrian Walkways - Urban Design, an areas neglected and not formally recognised in our traditional municipal processes has been placed as a project under Smart City to develop a model and show that a well designed street can have multiple social, economic & liveability benefits

4. Central Command & Control For Public Transport - Lack of reliable public transport in Pune has been our primary cause for all mobility issues. With this proposal, there is an attempt to streamline operations of PMPML before or concurrent with physical investments that are required.

5. Vehicle Health Monitoring - Again moving towards the target of  reliable public transport, the proposal will ensure that buses do not break down and cause inconvenience, which is an important factor in people choosing to use public transport. So this initiative, is a soft initiative, which till directly impact ridership

6. Passenger Information System - we have argued time and again that no information about Bus, the bus routes, their timings have led to people not using public transport. While, public transport interventions have largely remained for physical bus increases, rarely have we attempted to put information on a public platform. The Smart City Mission has given this opportunity to invest money into these systems that will increase ridership.

7. City Common Mobiliy Card - Mobility is not just about point-to-point transport, but the ability to move across the city easily. Again, this initiative would never have become a priority in traditional PMPML budgeting which is given a chance under the Smrt City Mission.

8. Traffic Demand Modelling - Aimed at improving public transport through route optimisation, this initiative rarely figured in traditional investments in PMPML, although it was spoken about for many years.

9. Modern Buses - a very Important aspect of having a good, reliable public transport that will transform peoples' perception about public transport and attract more people to use it.

10. Pune Maximum Solar City Project - city level energy generation has never even entered the minds of our traditional municipal working. This is a great opportunity for the city to begin putting up energy infrastructure in the city and becoming self sufficient in energy. Many cities outside India have done this (Ex. Copenhagen) and our traditional systems did not allow this at all.

11. Plastic Bottle Recycling Project - Despite all our best efforts to make citizens aware about plastic waste, a city needs infrastructure to tackle plastic waste. Again under the Smart City Mission, this is great opportunity for the city to add the necessary environmental infrastructure, which has rarely been on the radar of municipal corporations.

12. MoVe Tracking System - A monitoring system of tracking garbage vehicles so that the city understands how and when garbage moves within the city and thereby arrive ate better systems and routes to make garbage management efficient.

13. Quantified Cities Movement - This is a great collaborative platform that will share experie3nces across cities, create data and information for other cities to follow and set benchmarks. Time and again, in conferences, we see limited sharing of experiences on innovative solutions to civic problems. Smart City mission has given an opportunity to formalise the process of information sharing and making comparatives, thereby rewarding merit based on benchmarks. This will really cause a great transformation in bureaucratic mindsets and bring in private competitive thinking into the management of cities.

14. 100% Grievance Redressal System for Water - PmcCare is already operational in Pune and the benefits of a system that gives a timely response to citizen's grievances cannot be debated upon. It's responsive, accountable and transparent. Again, this initiative, may take some time to fine tune itself but nonetheless, it is a great opportunity to bring in fast, reliable civic services to the citizens in a transparent manner.

There is still a debate as to whether Smart City is a hype with no substance. Well, of course any scheme needs execution before it can be termed as successful, so let's not get ahead of ourselves and start labelling schemes and programmes just yet. But I feel this is a great beginning of many new ideas that cities will be able to quickly transform into reality, giving a much needed boost to the urban development sector and its stakeholders - citizens !

Comments

  1. Thanks for a great summary. A few questions.
    1. Who are the "Smart Punekars" who need to stop debating and start executing? You may not be alluding to citizens, as one is not sure what they can do to make this work. It must be the Smart City vehicle headed by Nitin Kareer. When will we get to see the detailed plans and deadlines?
    2. I know that Smart City mission asked Punekars for their priorities and sure the projects are aligned with that. But, the "smart" Punekars have refused to see beyond the "visible". For example, the people who risk their lives entering sewers don't figure in the plan - because of course they never got a chance to give their opinion and for people like me "out of sight out of mind" rules.

    ReplyDelete
  2. nicely summarised by Anagha. Now we will have to see the implementation procedure. I hope that professionals will have their say and together with the bureaucracy they will be able to strike a good balance.Also it is essential that we now keep our mouths shut and not put any hurdles in the process. Have some patience and work shoulder by shoulder with the implementing agencies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You may dub my questions as a naiveté but why are these 14 projects only for the Aundh-Baner? Can the whole Pune not be 'smart' without being run by a SPV? Why cannot the taxes that we pay be used properly for instance to have grievance redressal system for all departments and not only for water? Why cannot we have proper footpaths without being labelled as 'smart'?
    You are perhaps aware that grievances are being 'closed' by PMC without resolution as a routine. Will Aundh-Baner be an exception?

    ReplyDelete
  4. You may dub my questions as a naiveté but why are these 14 projects only for the Aundh-Baner? Can the whole Pune not be 'smart' without being run by a SPV? Why cannot the taxes that we pay be used properly for instance to have grievance redressal system for all departments and not only for water? Why cannot we have proper footpaths without being labelled as 'smart'?
    You are perhaps aware that grievances are being 'closed' by PMC without resolution as a routine. Will Aundh-Baner be an exception?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

    BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS


    1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
    2. Telephone Numbers:……….
    3. Address and Location:…….
    4. Amount in request………..
    5. Repayment Period:………..
    6. Purpose Of Loan………….
    7. country…………………
    8. phone…………………..
    9. occupation………………
    10.age/sex…………………
    11.Monthly Income…………..
    12.Email……………..

    Regards.
    Managements
    Email Kindly Contact: urgentloan22@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Proposed Development Control Rules (DCR) for Pune - An Analysis

The Greater Mumbai Metropolitan Region DP 2034 is out! . . .

Hill Tops & Hill Slopes in Pune - The Controversy over BDP raises its head again!