It has been a little over one year since our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He has also decided that Centre/States will create about a hundred beautiful Cities with the necessary infrastructure and provide facilities which would be easily approachable by its residents
A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. Information Technology should provide solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, local department’s information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, law enforcement, and other community services.
The goal of building a smart city is to improve quality of life by using technology to improve the efficiency of services and meet residents’ needs and the raise awareness of such technologies to the people of Dehra Dun. These should be available in Hindi and in English.
While creation of Dehra Dun into a Smart City, attention should first be paid to transport and traffic management, energy, health care, water, innovative urban agriculture and waste management.
Emphasis has also to be laid on good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation in developmental activities. There is worth mentioning here that Safety and
Security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly is of paramount importance.
Efficient Public Transport is a major factor which contributes in making a City Smart. As at present the Busses inside the City are being run under the control of the State Transport
Authority and their service is pathetic. The transport system should be privatised so that effective service transport may be provided for the residents of the District. The private Sector would run the busses on time and provide new and modern busses. This ensures good connectivity and effective mobility for residents.
There is too much traffic congestion inside the City and it takes almost 45 mins of travel time to get out of it and reach the four exits of Doon – Mohund, Premnagar, Jogiwala, Rajpur. It is imperative that a Ring road should be provided encircling Dehra Dun to facilitate traffic movement and decongest the main artery i.e. Rajpur Road.
Sufficient Parking lots should be constructed to enable vehicle users to park them properly. As of now, people normally park their vehicles on the road-side which blocks the normal flow of traffic causing inconvenience to commuters.
The other essential pre-requisite in a smart city is adequate water supply water and uninterrupted electric supply on a 24/7 basis.
Sewer pipe lines should be provided for all residential and commercial pockets to ensure effective Sanitation. These pipe lines should also have a sewage treatment plant so that human waste is not thrown out of them in the open.
Alongside the Sewer pipe lines another pipe line of about 2’ in diameter should be placed parallel to them with junction boxes at regular intervals. These would provide passage to underground path for electric cables, water pipes for connections to various commercial and residential buildings and the Roads thus made will not have to be dug up every now and then.
Waste management is an essential part of making a City Smart. First of all, as a law abiding citizens we need to make sure that we chuck the rubbish in appropriate dustbins placed by the authorities. The waste shouls first be seggerated at the residences by the owners themselves. Broken glasses, crockery etc. should be placed in one dusbin and the rest of the kitchen waste should be kept in another bin.
Garbage collection from the dust bins placed in these residential pockets will be done by the concerned authority and deposited in the waste dumping ground earmarked for this purpose.
The waste/garbage should not be kept lying in the garbage dump for an unduly long period and Garbage treatment plant should be erected there to facilitate it’s treatment and later on the retrieved product put to further use.
Other most important thing we need to do is to keep stray animals off the roads and especially away from garbage cans. We need to keep Cows, Buffaloes, Bulls, Goats, Dogs and Pigs etc off our roads.
Another major factor to make our city smart is Affordable Housing. Dehra Dun is a town which is inhabited mostly by the middle class and lower middle class of the Society. They cannot afford to buy costly plots now as the costs of land have sky-rocketed. Construction of houses on such expensive plots would also not be financially viable. So, State Government should be able to provide houses at affordable rates for the middle class and poor people.
Due importance has also to be given to Education. It has to be improved in as much as more Schools, Colleges and Universities have to be opened to make Dehra Dun an education hub as compared to Manipal.
Health Services also need a major overhaul to compete with the services provided by Smart Cities of the Western World. Just look at the Government run Hospitals in Dehra Dun? Their conditions and services are pathetic. On the other hand the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes run in the Western World are immaculately clean and their services are immaculate.
Though the charges are no doubt exorbitant but they are subsidised by the Government and they also have an effective Health Care and Insurance Schemes.
On the above lines European Union (EU) has devoted constant efforts for achieving ‘smart’ urban growth for its metropolitan city-regions. Technologies and programs have been implemented in Milton Keynes, Southampton, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Stockholm.