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Aligarh Enroute to Unravel its Hidden Treasure

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Santosh Kumar SharmaAligarh has plans to implement Smart Cities Mission by engaging citizens on the lines of ‘Mukammal Ashiyan Alishan Ali-E-Gar’, or providing quality life to public through an easily accessible smart infrastructure along with eco-friendly and e-governance projects, says Santosh Kumar Sharma, Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Aligarh, in conversation with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN).

Aligarh is included in the Government of India’s 100 Smart Cities list. How does the Aligarh Municipal Corporation plan to take forward development projects?
We have already constituted SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) and the constitution of PMC (Project Management Consultants) is in process, for which an RFP (Request for Proposal) has been floated already.

We are also expecting to form the PMC at the earliest to start implementing the Smart City projects for the city. We plan to implement
Smart Cities Mission in Aligarh, engaging citizens on the lines of ‘Mukammal Ashiyan Alishan Ali-EGar’, or providing quality life to public through an easily accessible smart infrastructure along with eco-friendly and e-governance projects.

Of the various components of the Smart City which sector requires urgent attention?
Citizens’ opinions have been taken into consideration to implement the Smart City initiatives in the city. Soon, PMC also plans to hold regular meetings with the SPV to sort out goals and identify low-hanging fruits. Two important issues need urgent attention:

Transport Mobility: Across the city, unregulated traffic prevails. Through Smart City initiatives, we plan to ensure a better service through a proper Traffic Management System which will have interventions like quality public service within a stipulated time.

Single Window Clearance System:To reduce time taken to deliver services to citizens, and to minimise face-to-face interaction between public and the authorities, a Single Window Clearance System has been proposed. This system integrates all public services in a single window. The Urban Development Department is already in the process to launch a web portal to offer quality public service within a stipulated time

How is the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model being embraced in the Aligarh Smart City initiatives? What are the issues that require public initiative?
As many projects are being approached in a PPP model. We are expecting approximately 23.5 per cent of the total investment for Smart City project through PPP model. The model is being approached in e-governance solution, Wi-Fi network, smart parking and housing sectors.  We have given equal weightage to citizens for Area Based Development (ABD) projects. People residing in the
respective areas have selected the projects. The only challenge, however, Smart City Aligarh may face is in bringing behaviourial change in the public. The implementation of initiatives will follow certain restrictions. Only through public participation, the mission will succeed. The challenge would be to redress public resentment and the Aligarh Municipal Corporation is actively dealing with the issues.

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