e-Governance

Raipur Citizens – The Power Behind Smart City Mission

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Rajat Bansal, IAS

Rajat Bansal, IAS
Commissioner, Raipur Municipal Corporation &
Managing Director, Raipur Smart City Limited

Citizens have become an integral part of the Raipur Smart City Mission. From coming up with innovative ideas for the Smart City project to being part of the city’s Change Rovers, residents of Raipur have contributed in its growth story in a major way, observes Elets News Network (ENN).

The move has underlined a reality that allowing citizens to become active in the process of city design is important for the success of the Smart Cities Mission. It may be noted that Smart City initiative has always been about people’s involvement in it. The Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) made sure that the involvement of all the stakeholders commences from the planning stage itself. RMC approached people for suggestions. It was only after that the concept was

It may be noted that Smart City initiative has always been about people’s involvement in it. The Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) made sure that the involvement of all the stakeholders commences from the planning stage itself.

RMC approached people for suggestions. It was only after that the concept was finalised and submitted for the Smart Cities Mission.

Traditionally, initiatives like the Smart Cities Mission are indicators of developed economies. A developing country acquires potential to turn into developed country when its citizens also upgrade their approach to their city.

“As a Smart City Commissioner, it is our duty to not let public involvement die out. We try to rope in the momentum and enthusiasm of resident. People get emotional thinking that if their city gets selected in the Smart Cities Mission, they will also become smart. “For a city like Raipur, we are already going through a cultural change. Raipur is still a city which does not have an established night life, identity of its own in terms of social cultural space,” said Raipur Municipal Commissioner Rajat Bansal while attending Elets Smart and Sustainable City Summit in Nagpur recently.

To make Raipur citizens a part of the Mission, the municipal corporation of Raipur decided to implement many citizen-centric programmes. One of them is Raipur’s Change Rovers, a non-government organisation of Raipur Municipal Corporation Engineers which keeps innovating on a daily basis.

“We want people who just want to work harder for their city. We invited people who wanted to add innovations to their city. Through Change Rovers, we started working much before our Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) was formed. We evolved a lot of concepts which involved the citizens directly,” he added.

Engineers, who are part of this unique concept, are not given any incentive. They are a group of people who want to work towards their city’s development.

Another campaign started by the Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) was “Shining Raipur”. Shining, as the name suggests, was launched to making Raipur shine. Various campaigns were launched under “Shining Raipur”, which received great reception and participation from the citizens of Raipur.

#ToiletMyRight is the first name which strikes everyone’s mind whenever Shining Raipur is mentioned. This campaign focused on getting toilets built in every restaurant, shopping complex, office and other commercial building. Every commercial building was directed to build toilets, and they were warned beforehand that failing to do so would result in official actions against them.

“We came up with a solution for dirty toilets wherein you report a dirty toilet to Nagar Nigam and the Nigam will use all its resources to make sure the toilet is clean. Initiatives like these don’t allow the citizen momentum to die out. It helps in wiping out the negativity at the time of the commencement of the smart city projects.”

Any citizen could complain directly to the RMC authorities by just tweeting under the #ToiletMyRight, mentioning the name and address of the Commercial building/restaurant. Actions were taken by the RMC against those buildings within 48 hours.

Raipur#LaparwahMitra was another campaign started by the RMC, which exposed any commercial, medical or any other establishment which irresponsibly disposed of the waste. Laparwah Mitra campaign was launched to give a wake-up call for them to maintain the proper disposing methods.

“We came up with a solution for dirty toilets wherein you report about a dirty toilet to Nagar Nigam (municipal corporation) and the Nigam will use all its resources to make sure the toilet is clean. Initiatives like these don’t allow the citizen momentum to die out. It helps in wiping out the negativity at the time of the commencement of the Smart City projects,” he said.

Other citizens-based programmes are multi-level parking and market redevelopment project.

“Market redevelopment project means a lot of sacrifices from the stakeholders’ end. We gave them four plans. We shared pros and cons with them. We just helped them take the decision. But the decision was theirs,” he added.

 

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