Lucknow emerged first in the fast-track round of smart cities challenge and we wish to leverage its culture and heritage by investing in inclusive and transformative solutions that enhance quality of life of its people, says Udayraj Singh, Municipal Commissioner, Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC), in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
What is the progress of smart city plan of Lucknow Municipal Corporation?
We have constituted Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Lucknow Smart City Limited for executing the smart city plan. The SPV has three main directors – Divisional Commissioner as Chairman, Municipal Commissioner as CEO and one director of local bodies of UP. Chairman of Lucknow Smart City Limited has also made departmental committees to review progress every month in their fields. These committees are meant to monitor projects of drainage, sewerage, heritage building, solid waste management, roads, transport, smart parking and urban mobility nodes.
Do you have a separate development plans for old and new Lucknow?
Kaiserbagh area has been chosen for holistic development and facilities for proper parking, transport, safety of people, e-governance etc., are being ensured there. We realised that Kaiserbagh heritage area is too small for implementing retrofitting model. We need to develop more residential areas here to accommodate growing population. Following people’s advice, we have expanded the development area around Kaiserbagh. Under retrofitting, we have identified area from Kaiserbagh Chouraha to Latouche Road, Hewett road up to Hussainganj and Burlington crossing. This further connects with the Cantonment area on left side. In area-based development, we have to work on infrastructure, besides the smart solutions. We will be responsible for drainage system, sewerage system, water supply, utility duct, footpath, parking, solar panel at the rooftops and water recycling among other things.
What major challenges are you facing to execute the smart city plan?
The biggest challenge is of encroachment. The core of the city is left with barely any space. Thus, unruly vendors and illegal parking lots have mushroomed on roads and streets over the years. The encroachment needs to be removed. Concerned police station may be given responsibility to ensure free passages. To mitigate parking problem, we have a provision for multi-level parking. Adequate amount of land has to be acquired. We are in talks with RWAs, citizens, corporators and all stakeholders to resolve the challenges.
Traffic snarls is another major problem. We will have smart urban transport in place for the citizens. Improved frequency of public transport vehicles, easy access to transport, smaller vehicles causing lesser congestion, easy travel and quick public information system are the pillars of smart transport for smart city.
Before implementing our plan, we will check the placement of transformers, apt location for laying PNG pipelines etc so that it doesn’t cause hurdle for other departments.
What role do you see of technology and solution providers?
The ICT plays a vital role in building Smart City. We have also adopted modern technology to offer better citizen-centric services. We have signed a MoU with the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) for smart development of Lucknow. The EBTC will support in promoting European clean technologies in the state capital. The EBTC experts have the capacity to help in providing smart city solutions, innovative ideas and programmes for developing Lucknow as smart city.