Sikkim’s Namchi aiming to develop as Smart City

Namchi Municipal Council (NMC) in Sikkim is mainly focussing on augmenting the pedestrian walkways integrated with foot over bridge with elements of universal access design. It is looking to add more paid parking infrastructures for the revenue generation, says Udai Chandra Rai, Chairman, Namchi Municipal Council, Government of Sikkim, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

What measures have been taken by your department for the urban development of Namchi?

After I assumed charge as the chairman of the NMC, there have been major changes in governance structure as well as enhancement in the revenue receipts on the NMC. Since most of the functions related to development and construction of physical infrastructural assets still lies with parent Urban Development and Housing Department, I have been able to bring about drastic change in organisational structures which has translated into the enhancement of the efficiency of service delivery mechanism of the Council.

What recent projects have been introduced by the Namchi Municipal Council under the Smart Cities Mission?

Since the Namchi Municipal Council is 50 per cent owner of the constituted Special Purpose Vehicle – Namchi Smart City Limited, therefore all the projects envisaged under Smart City proposal is entirely for the betterment of the Council. For me, the major impactful projects would entail the Integrated Water supply augmentation with the strategy to conserve and reuse by rainwater harvesting system.

Another major impactful project is of the installation of city wide LED based streetlights integrating it with rooftop Solar PV. All these projects will start by the first week of March 2018.

What initiatives have been taken by NMC for Solid Waste Management?

We have already established best and efficient Solid Waste Management system. The collection efficiency has been our prime focus, there is door-to-door waste collection, etc. All the prime public and commercial establishments have to have mandatory solid waste collection facilities where NMC collects it on a daily basis. The name and contact details of the concerned officers related to the waste disposal issues and grievances have been put in the strategic locations where citizens can call them up any point of time.

Also, we have been penalising the citizens if they are found dumping garbage in public spaces. We have collected substantial amount of revenue by means of imposing the penalties to the defaulters. Soon, we will be installing the composting plant where the waste from the vegetables will be used. Lastly, we are very concerned about the hazardous, bio-medical waste and e-waste. These wastes have to be handled scientifically.

How Namchi Municipal Council is working on eradicating the water scarcity problem in the city?

The major focus of the Smart City Proposal is on the augmentation of existing water supply distribution network considering the water stressed situation of Namchi Municipal Council. Till the project gets completed, we have strived to promote the conservation of water, rational use of the water and promoting the idea of rainwater harvesting system. However, let me iterate that the water supply, distribution and management is still district. Also the average trip length within the Namchi Municipal Council is 2 km.

Therefore, we are mainly focussing on the augmenting of the pedestrian walkways integrated with foot over bridge with elements of universal access design. Further, priority will be to provide to the world class pedestrian infrastructures enabling the promotion of non-motorised transport. This entails our vision of sustainable urban mobility strategy. Complimenting this, we shall also be looking to add more paid parking infrastructures for the revenue generation avenue as well as enabling them for tourist and visitors.

What are Council’s plans to develop Namchi as a Smart City?

Since the Special Purpose Vehicle is manned by very efficient professional who have been working tirelessly with us from the time of its preparatory stage, therefore, we are very clear about our strategy and plans as to how Namchi Municipal Council requires to be developed as a Smart City. Our focus mainly entails around water security, pedestrian safely and friendly city, city resilient to the disaster and creation of ample revenue generation base to sustain the future growth of the Namchi Municipal Council. the mandate of the government department and NMC is just trying to propagate the idea of its conservation and management.

How Council is taking forward the concept of urban transport in Namchi?

Namchi has a Council instead of Corporation since it has the geographical boundary of 7.14 sq km out of which only approximately 800 sq meter houses the central business district. Also the average trip length within the Namchi Municipal Council is 2 km. Therefore, we are mainly focussing on the augmenting of the pedestrian walkways integrated with foot over bridge with elements of universal access design. Further, priority will be to provide to the world class pedestrian infrastructures enabling the promotion of non-motorised transport. This entails our vision of sustainable urban mobility strategy. Complimenting this, we shall also be looking to add more paid parking infrastructures for the revenue generation avenue as well as enabling them for tourist and visitors.

What are Council’s plans to develop Namchi as a Smart City?

Since the Special Purpose Vehicle is manned by very efficient professional who have been working tirelessly with us from the time of its preparatory stage, therefore, we are very clear about our strategy and plans as to how Namchi Municipal Council requires to be developed as a Smart City. Our focus mainly entails around water security, pedestrian safely and friendly city, city resilient to the disaster and creation of ample revenue generation base to sustain the future growth of the Namchi Municipal Council.

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