The need to strengthen road transportation
Transportation is one of the important components of the Smart Cities project to develop the country in a smarter way. According to reports, if the country is growing at the rate of seven to eight per cent, the demand for transportation, particularly the road transportation, is surging at the rate of 15-20 per cent. Today, the road transport is 90 per cent while rail transport is just a meagre ten per cent in India. However, the ratio between the road and rail transport was 60:40 at the time of Independence. The importance of road transport in coming days is going to increase. A large number of people are dying in road accidents and to prevent these, the Government of India suggests 3Es which are—Engineering, Enforcement and Education. However, it requires a lot of planning and implementation. The Odisha Government is trying to automate all sectors, including transport department. We offer time-bound public service delivery comprising issuance of driving licence, fitness certificate and permits.
Transforming Naya Raipur
The Naya Raipur Development Plan 2031 is based on the Grid Iron Pattern. It is divided into 40 sectors, out of which 21 are residential ones. The area along the highway is earmarked for transport-related activities and main rail line is proposed in the northern part of the city. Education and recreation-related projects are proposed to come up in the southern side. The enhancement of the plan in accordance with the principles of the Transit Oriented Development is underway. In all, the plan is focused on creating a healthy and environment-friendly city with a state-of-the-vibrant-art infrastructure and other facilities in place. Nearly 75.2 kms of four lane/six lane roads have already been constructed, whereas road network of 61 kms is under-construction in Naya Raipur. The city is having an underground power distribution system, along with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to have online monitoring and control of power-supply. Street lighting is using latest technology with network control and LEDs while solar power is being widely used in the administrative buildings and traffic signals.
Citizen advocacy highly needed
We have played a vital role in transforming over 30 international cities into smart ones, almost in every continent. With the help of Centre of Excellence based in the US, we did ‘Smart Astana’ project in Kazakhstan. The project followed the European model of smart cities, having six components. As the guidelines of MoUD suggest, Smart Cities will have 24×7 water and power supply, among others. These are basic elements in other countries, but India is still struggling to strengthen all the said amenities. So, a holistic approach is extremely important to develop Smart Cities and three sets of beneficiaries of urbanisation—citizens, government and industries need to come together to bring vibrant economy. We, as stakeholders, need to take ownership and not only rely on the government for every small thing we want. We need to look at the spectrum of investment and outcome. Citizen advocacy helps understand the requirement and without leadership commitment, no plans can take off. Bhopal is known for its quality of life and people should aspire to move in this city because of the availability of world-class amenities.
Smart transportation need of the hour
An easy way to make a city smart is reducing the number of personal vehicles and strengthening the public transport. Abroad, there is a nice concept designed, which includes four or six lanes, and each lane remains dedicated to its specific users for heavy vehicles or public transport, personal vehicles, two wheelers and the pedestrians. So, we have to look forward how it can be emulated in the upcoming cities. When we talk about smart transportation, people want to access information through mobile apps on their smart phones, apart from dashboards about the frequency of AC/non-AC buses, routes, arrivaldeparture timings, among others. The word ‘smart’ is closely connected with SMAC, which stands for Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud that will play a key role to make transport smarter. The Government of Telangana has introduced ‘She-Shuttle’ in Hyderabad to ensure women safety.
Public transport lacks women safety
There are three key attributes which a Smart City should show, (a) livability having people-centric approach, (b) contribution of vibrant economy, and (c) very low resource consumption. These things have to be balanced and then we can use technology as a catalyst. A livable city offers safety and security while vibrant economy creates job opportunity. We need to promote public transport in a big way and a large number of women should use it. Workforce participation in the country is almost at the lowest level in comparison to the global data and what is even more striking is that workforce participation is less in urban areas as compared to the rural ones.