“Jaipur Development Authority has been time and again proving itself as a pioneer of development,” says Jaipur Development Commissioner Kuldeep Ranka
The Jaipur Development Authority is involved in conducting many infrastructure projects. What is your vision for development of the city?
As an organisation, the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) is committed to working for the benefit of the citizens of Jaipur. With planned implementation of development schemes, we are consistently striving to create better facilities in the city.
In our work we are helped by the fact that Jaipur is one of the most well-planned cities of its times and planned development has always been central to its ideology.
The Government of Rajasthan brought JDA into existence with a vision of fulfilling the growing needs of a large city in wake of the increasing population. The plan was also to give Jaipur a planned look that is compatible and comparable to any metropolitan city of repute. JDA has the powers to speed up the development and progressive growth of the entire city. We are focussed on improving the looks of the city.
Attempting to create new infrastructure in a densely populated city like Jaipur must be a difficult task. So what kind of strategies are you using to ensure that the construction takes place in an efficient and time bound manner?
JDA using major scientific and hi-tech strategies to ensure time-bound construction and development of Jaipur. We are taking major initiatives to construct new flyovers, bridges, parking places.
The development of commercial projects and residential schemes, etc., is taking place at a fast pace due to the usage of latest construction technologies. We are also facilitating the development of basic amenities like community centres, parks and ring roads. Lot of efforts are being made to facilitate the development of modern systems for transportation.
Going further on the theme of modern systems for transportation, can you tell us something about the Jaipur Metro that is being planned?
The Jaipur Metro is being planned at an estimated cost of around `9,732 crores. It will be of around 35 kilometres. We expect that the Jaipur Metro Phase-1 will be operational by July, 2013. According to the promises and commitments of the Rajasthan Government, JDA has been time and again proving itself as a pioneer of development, creating a state-of-the-art city of substance. We firmly believe in bridging the gap and reaching out to its citizens and to provide them with quick and hassle-free service.
A lot of IT and e-Governance initiatives have been taken by Jaipur Development Authority. What is the main focus of these initiatives?
As you are aware, the Jaipur Development Authority has vast responsibilities. Major challenges are thrown by the growing urbanisation.
All these problems can only be resolved by the incorporation of modern technologies. Quick and effective delivery of services is the focus of the IT initiatives at JDA. The dynamic contents of CCC (Citizen Care Centre) application status, Lottery results, RTI status are online and are established on JDA server through live IP. We have developed lots of web-based applications to streamline and bring transparency into a number of areas of our operations. We have a call centre where people can register their complaints through toll-free numbers.
We are also having a very effective help desk. Our applications make it easier for the citizens to fill applications. Basically we are focussed on speedy and timely disposal of citizen’s applications. Helping citizens to get their application filled in timely manner leads to timely disposal and is in the best interests of everyone. We have installed touch-screen kiosks to provide information in a speedy and efficient manner.
You also have a computerised asset management system. Please tell us about it.
We have a Centralised Resource Management System (CPRMS). Under this project, centralized database of schemes and approximately 3 Lakh individual properties has been created along with scanning of important documents property records have been created. The information is made available to public through JDA official website.
I would also like to tell you about the Computerised Cash Collection System & Preparation of RCR. All the receipt of JDA is recorded under this system with effect from August 2010. There is auto confirmation of the receipt through online banking. The receipt of amount through net banking, Credit Cards, Debit Cards and mobile banking has been established through an efficiently developed payment gateway.
How is IT proving to be effective in monitoring your ongoing projects?
We have the Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) for Engineering Works. The software helps authorities in monitoring the condition of roads and helps in curbing corrupt practices during their laying. Nearly 7,000 kilometres of road fall under the JDA. As per the norms, a road constructed should be repaired after every four years.
However, it is sometimes difficult for the authority to keep a check on the status of every road. With the help of the new software, the authorities will not only be able to know of the status of each
road, they can also keep a record of the due date of maintenance.
The cost of urban infrastructure is quite high; most people are unable to fulfil their dreams of owning a property. What steps can JDA take to have a reduction in the cost of urban infrastructure?
The cost of urban infrastructure, because of its superior quality, is bound to be somewhat high. In order to create a proper and affordable housing for the common man, we have launched the Affordable Housing Scheme. We are undertaking large scale construction under this scheme so that affordable houses can be made available to larger groups of people.
Such housing is cross-subsidised by the government, the builders who get their projects cleared have to reserve a part of their houses for the poor. Through affordable houses we also hope to put a stop on the proliferation of slums. We are also creating rental housing to serve as transit accommodation for migrants to urban areas.
Right to adequate housing is a basic human right as shelter is a basic human need. Provision of adequate housing is emerging as a major thrust area for Government of India as well as the State Governments. Government of Rajasthan accords a very high priority to this task. Vertical development also has the effect of reducing the costs, as there is limited construction area that is available. Ultimately the city has no alternative except to grow upwards.
Land acquisition is an area of concern. So how are you dealing with this problem?
One of the major areas of concern is the conversion of land from agricultural to non-agricultural. We are using file tracking system to find out where the files are pending. The system tells us if the work is being done within the timeline or not. We are also using IT applications to monitor the rights given to the citizens, under the Right to Services act, and other regulations that have been created by the Government. A lot of transparency and efficiency has been brought into our operations, and the main beneficiary of this are the citizens who have to conduct business with the JDA.
What kind of impact is the vertical growth going to have on the ambience of Jaipur? I mean, till few years ago we used to call Jaipur a “Pink City,” but now it is like any other metropolis. What can be done to retain the charm of Jaipur, while also facilitating growth?
Jaipur is one of the most well-planned cities in history. It was established by the then Maharaja, Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1927. The graceful architecture of the City that runs across in pink colour has earned Jaipur the title of “The Pink City”. For the good of the citizens, who live in modern day Jaipur we have
to facilitate growth, but we are also focussed in retaining the charm of the city. The creation of the new infrastructure is being planned in such a way that it does not hamper the traditional nature of the city.