Editorial

Pushing the City Clock

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ravi-gupta

RAVI GUPTA

As the Central Government announced the list of the cities qualifying to be developed into smart cities, a number of traditionally big cities were seen losing out to their relatively smaller and younger counterparts. Smaller towns were able to find a place in the coveted list primarily because of the efficient services provided to the citizens by their civic bodies. If it is anything to go by, it speaks volumes about the importance of local governments, and the kind of role they can play in the lifecycle of a city.

In this backdrop, the smooth sail of Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) into the to-bedeveloped smart cities club can be a matter of pride for any municipal body and a reason of envy for others. And, as they say in Latin, nihil fit ex nihilo, or nothing comes out of nothing, this feat of the municipal body has been an offshoot of decades of consistent performance of BMC. Thanks to its successive administrators, today the state capital is counted as one of the best cities in terms of infrastructure growth, and clean and green city.

Keeping in mind the inconvenience caused to women due to unavailability of ladies washrooms at public places, BMC recently started working on a project called ‘She Lounge’. Once completed, the Lounges would be equipped with all basic amenities, like hygienic toilets, Wi-Fi connectivity, ATMs, bio-incinerator to treat sanitary napkins, sofa, etc., and a novelty shop to cater to their needs. What’s more, the service would be absolutely free of cost. After all, before becoming a Smart City, an urban space has to be citizen-friendly first.

This and several other initiatives, like installing automatic timers and retrofitting energy-efficient LED lights in the streets to save electricity, encouraging people to use non-motorised transport by facilitating cycle tracks and linking colonies with BRTS to strengthen public transportation are only some of the many laudable steps the Corporation has taken to provide Bhopalites a better quality of life.

With a view to highlighting the excellent work done by BMC and the local administration, Elets Technomedia is organising ‘Smart City Conclave – Bhopal 2015’, with the Bhopal Municipal Corporation as the esteemed ‘Host Partner’. The three-day conclave, being held on 20-22 August 2015 in the historic city of Bhopal will have a number of sessions on achievements and future plans of BMC to make the ‘ City of Lakes’ a smarter city.

Top officials from the Madhya Pradesh Government and from outside the State will present their vision on various aspects of a Smart City, including smart education, smart healthcare, smart transportation, etc. Besides, municipal commissioners both from Madhya Pradesh and outside will also present their case studies on the role of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for building Smart Cities.

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