Jaipur, one of the historic and culturally rich cities in the country, is embracing digitisation to transform itself into a smart and connected city, enabling ICT in public transport, safety and security services, tells Shikhar Agarwal, Commissioner, Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), to Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN)
What are the various initiatives undertaken by the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) for making Jaipur a smart city?
The meaning of making a city smarter is providing better set of services for citizens. These services are not only technology based but also the basics services like drinking water, sewage, electricity, etc that needs to be looked into. To provide better services, the underlining requirement is money. Hence, our first step was to see if we can step up in terms of revenue generation. We successfully did so by doubling the revenue generation and pulling the financial muscle last year. We are doing the same this year as well. This increase in fiscal has helped us to clear liabilities and take up bigger projects like cleaning and rejuvenation of the 42 km long Dravavati river stretch which flows through Jaipur city, provide proper sewage systems to every household, reducing the road blocks caused due to encroachment, eliminating the land possession issues in the ring road project, cabling of the overhead wires, etc.
We are procuring more buses and creating two BRT corridors and building elevated roads for better local transportation. We also have ambitious projects like building ring roads. So overall, we are not only concentrating on the technological services but the services on the ground and a strong financial muscle leverages us to do so.
As you mentioned, strengthening financial muscle was the first step, how did JDA achieve this?
Technology played a major role in increasing the financial muscle. We developed a GIS based land bank for the first time in the state, which helped us understand where our resources were. With this, we were able to identify the usable land in Jaipur. It helped us majorly during the recently organised Resurgent Rajasthan summit as when foreign investors asked us for options we had easily showed them probable and suitable land on a computer immediately. Digitising the land bank was a major step towards quick monetisation, transparency and clarity for expediting actions. Proper land management system in place led us in city planning and benefited us to generate more revenue. Going a step further in our land management system, we are now working on a digital platform where all the details like lease of land, previous owner etc will be displayed on a click of a mouse. This is a new successful pilot project that we have just completed which encourages a lot of transparency in the process of selling and buying.
J DA at Work
Please throw some light on the City Infrastructure Management Centre and its significance.
JDA has set up a City Infrastructure Management Centre as well as a Response Control Room to manage the city with greater efficiency and effectiveness. In City Infrastructure Management Centre, nearly all the solutions are integrated into a digital platform. The digital platform built by JDA can aggregate data from various sensors and solutions, conduct data analytics and support a number of urban services. In this phase, JDA has implemented the solutions in Jantar Mantar, Amer, Albert Hall, Jal Mahal, Ram Niwas Bagh, Hawa Mahal, Central Park and Jawahar Circle. The next phase of implementation would be in another 25 sites. The initiative to transform Jaipur into a smart city has gathered tremendous momentum, since its launch in May 2014. Today, citizens of Jaipur are digitally empowered and this is just the beginning.
We are determined to ensure good governance and a better quality of life for citizens by leveraging technology. As part of the digital blueprint of the State of Rajasthan, JDA is focused on developing smart city infrastructure in Jaipur to transform it into a digital city of the future
What are the other services that you plan to provide in a smarter Jaipur?
We are trying to provide better services in every sector by enabling it with technology, so that citizens get better services as well as the transactions will happen faster and revenue will be generated for the government to work better. For example, the Wi-Fi services that are launched in various places in the city are helping the citizens and we are expanding it. Initially, such services were free but later these are charged, as it helps in generating revenue for the government. Another example is that of the parking systems, which will help the citizens to know the parking slot in public and private parking areas. These initiatives will also help the tourists who visit the city.
What is the State Government’s vision for a digital future of Rajasthan by leveraging ICT?
We are determined to enable good governance and a better quality of life for citizens by leveraging technology. As part of the digital blueprint of Rajasthan, the JDA is focused on developing smart city infrastructure in Jaipur to transform itself into a digital city of the future. In its first phase, the pink city has created digital infrastructure to offer citizens amenities including intelligent kiosks, wireless broadband, safety and security services, traffic management and environmental updates.