Wish you all Happy Sankranthi / Pongal!
Smart Cities should satisfy certain basics without which other smart elements established at whatever cost would not be sustainable. The Central Smart City -project plan should detail the strategies to achieve the basics and other smart elements.
Some CSOs are reported to be working on the subject issue and awaiting the 100 smart city-project plan to be released by the U D M shortly.
It should be recognized that every City, smart or otherwise, forms part of a watershed / River basin. No activity within the Cities should affect the ecology of the downstream areas. Proper resource and effluent / waste management is a must for environmental and ecological health within and downstream side of Cities.
The interests of slum dwellers, migrant workers, safety of women and children, affordable good quality drinking water, affordable and effective health care and education for all, nutritional security through efficient PDS to support urban poor, quality-up gradation of Government and Municipal Schools, opening many more Central Schools and Polytechnique colleges…..
Most importantly gender justice and child rights are well taken care of.
In a smart city, all the traditional Tanks are rejuvenated, pollution of every kind is zeroed and at least 20% of the smart City is under green cover.
Other important elements:
Segregation of domestic waste right at home into different colored bins (bio-waste, recyclables such as paper/card board/packaging, rigid and flexible plastics and non-recyclables for safe disposal) world class waste collection system and transportation of the same directly to the recycling units. Special system for hazardous waste (Chemicals / medicines, CFLs, glass, electrical and electronic items, mobiles and related accessories, old air conditioners, refrigerators, water / Air coolers, etc.) collection and transportation to recycling units should be given priority – Reduce use of resources, Recycle and Reuse.
Domestic energy and water efficiency:
Interest free loans on attractive repayment terms for replacing the old inefficient electrical and gas based appliances.
Well trained teams for enhancing domestic energy efficiency to visit every home for suggesting appropriate measures (Mummy ho ya daddy ho….Ad is in the right direction – catch children and the youth !) Educate school children and college youth on resource and waste management as part of compulsory general education.
Low flow rate – tap heads in kitchens, wash rooms and domestic gardens and garages for drastically reducing water wastage.
Recharging groundwater in cities, roof rain water harvesting and efficient storm water drainage system should be prioritized.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY WITH TIMED PEDESTRIAN CROSSING SIGNALS AS PER WORLD CLASS PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON CHILDREN, PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED AND OLD PEOPLE MAKE A CITY SMART.
Most of the above mentioned measures form the joint responsibilities of the Citizens / Corporates / Municipalities / State and Central Governments.
Transportation, power and building (individual / businesses / Industries / establishments etc,) sectors and e- governance that make a City smart need to be addressed separately.
Civil society need to address the subject issue on a priority basis before our Governments finalise things.