Panaji is a city with emerging new ideas and has inherent strengths for developing into a smart city. Sanjit Rodrigues, Managing Director, GSIDC, talks about his vision towards the Smart City Mission and how it will shape Panaji into Smart Panaji. Excerpts from an interview with Manish Arora & Shambhudeep Hore of Elets News Network (ENN)
Please share your vision towards Smart City Mission in Panaji?
During the consultation exercise done at various levels during the buildup of the Smart City Mission submission as well as during creation of our Holistic Master Plan, City Development Plan, Sanitation Plan the aspirations of the people, their needs and wants have been discussed, debated, deliberated, suggested upon and we have come out with a vision which reflects the true spirit of Panaji.
“The City of Panaji will transform into a world-class city, achieving a better quality of life in a sustainable environment through economic growth and citizen participation, while retaining our heritage and cultural diversity”
IT companies and non IT companies would play a big role in development of Panaji as a Smart City.
What are your plans to attract Indian as well as international companies towards this Mission?
Panaji is a living city, with ports, churches, temples, parks and markets. It has been a vibrant city which is well planned. If we just maintain our heritage, culture and carefully enhance our infrastructure properly, we would standat an The hallmark of Panaji is citizen participation. Citizens participate very actively in all the consultation sessions.
Panaji would be the best place for new ideas to flow in with its inherent resource availability. Planned infrastructure development is the top most priority for us.
“Panaji is a living city, having ports, churches, temples, parks and markets. It has been a vibrant city which is well-planned. All we need to do is to maintain the heritage and infrastructure from olden times properly”
How has been Panaji rated in Swacch Bharat Mission? How do you see Panaji in the coming days for this Mission?
In comparison to other places, we are way ahead in the country in terms of solid waste management. Our commitment to the segregation model and citizens support is unparalleled. Anything done in terms of cleanliness or Swachh Bharat Mission, will be trend setting and others will have to follow us. As far as our aim in terms of Solid Waste Management and sanitation is concerned, we would like to now harness latest technology and its advances.It will make our Solid Waste Management model more efficient, more people oriented and easier to access.
All this can be done with use of selected and appropriate technology and the Smart City Mission will lead us into this.
As on date, in the last survey conducted by the Swacchh Bharat Mission, we have been ranked, 16th among all cities. There have been various private surveys where we were ranked much higher.
What is the role of citizen engagement in Smart City Mission?
As I have said earlier,citizen engagement has been a hallmark for our civic administration for long. Citizens have commented, talked, given their aspirations and debated on various occasions for Panaji.
Citizen views wholly a part of this plan and the entire benefit will be citizen centric.