July 2017

Citizens’ Role Key for ‘Smart’ Chandigarh

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Baldeo Purushartha
Commissioner
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation

An endeavour is being made to provide smart solutions for the convenience of the public while ensuring an effective service delivery and efficient monitoring, based on people’s feedback and a time-bound grievance redressal system, tells Baldeo Purushartha, Commissioner, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chandigarh Smart City Limited in conversation with Priya Yadav of Elets News Network (ENN).

“Citizen participation is an important component of Smart City and we want more and more residents to come forth and join hands in the development of the city.”

What does the tag of Smart City mean for the residents of the city?

Under the Smart City project we are looking at improving the basic infrastructure that goes in improving the quality of life of city’s residents. This means smart solutions for a clean and sustainable development. We want basic infrastructure to be developed like improving the potable water distribution round the clock, the use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for distribution and installation of smart meters.

We are looking at improving the quality of waste water and setting up a parallel system for its distribution network. A separate line is being worked on for the distribution of recycled water. Even as its availability will improve for nondrinking purposes, we are augmenting the treatment facility which means that its quality will also improve.

Waste management is an important component of the Smart City project. What efforts are being made on this front?

Waste management is an integral and essential component of any place to qualify as a city. Otherwise any dwelling will not be eligible to be called a city. We are working towards streamlining the Solid Waste Management system. Already we are making fuel pellets from the waste and now focus is on the organised way of garbage collection. We are using technology for better monitoring. There is a dedicated control room which monitors that all garbage bins are being cleared, all streets are being swept. Besides we are using machines to clean roads in many sectors. Eventually all the sectors will be covered by the control room monitoring disposal of garbage.

“We are looking at improving the quality of waste water and setting up a parallel system for its distribution network. A separate line is being worked on for the distribution of recycled water.”

How is the power supply going to improve in the city?

We are already providing power supply around the clock across the city. Yet, efforts are on to further improve the situation. Increasingly, solar power is being preferred with technology to make more and more use of it. Smart meters are being installed that will help consumers get real time updates of their power consumption and will help them plan use of power. Work is on to get cables underground even as streetlights are being upgraded from traditional bulbs to LED. Smart poles are also being put up for better power saving.

What are the parameters that define Smart City and smart way of life for people?

The main objective of the Smart City project is to improve the quality of life of people. This is all inclusive of efficient urban mobility and public transport so that people get real time updates of the bus movement. An overall improvement in the delivery of health services for all sections of society – be it children or the elderly. Also provision of high standard of education for children across all sections. There should be safety and security of citizens, specially for women, children and the elderly. Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation of all services is also a target for the convenience of residents.

Chandigarh has very active residents who take keen interest in its development. How is that helping the Smart City project?

Citizen participation is an important component of Smart City and we want more and more residents to come forth and join hands in the development of the city. We are making an attempt to give smart solutions for the convenience of the public. Besides effective service delivery and efficient monitoring, we are emphasising on feedback from the people and redressal of grievances quickly, in a time bound manner. We are also looking at single citizen administration interface so that complaints can be addressed efficiently and smoothly.

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