Hailing from Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Jabalpur, is an IAS officer of 2008 batch. A young, energetic and dynamic personality, Singh plans to develop Jabalpur Smart City with participation of its people. In an interview with Elets News Network (ENN), Singh emphasises on ways to implement the measures to transform Jabalpur into a Smart City
What is your vision of a developed, smart Jabalpur city?
In the first phase, 750 acres of land has been taken into consideration for the process of developing a “Smart Jabalpur”. The development will work like a role model, if the same model is replicated to other areas. This is an Area-based Development (ABD), and we expect to set an example in this kind of development over the next five years. We will also be getting `1,000 crore over a period of five years by the State as well as Centre, with which we intend to generate a corpus to implement the Smart City programme in the area selected, step by step.
We are planning revenue generation in several ways. Through Floor Area Ratio (FAR), revenue generation can be increased from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent resulting in a corresponding increase in households and property tax. So this way, we will be able to meet the financial requirements to trans- form the city into a smarter entity.
What challenges do you foresee in turning Jabalpur into a Smart City?
Challenges can be in terms of people’s participation or rejection. We are very happy that we have got very good citizenry in the city. People are actively participating in the process. Everybody knows that restoration takes some time, and we need cooperation of commoners. People are aware of this process.
We are also organising different programmes for generating this awareness. The best part is that people are accepting the transformation with free-hands and open arms. So, we are seeing major changes in the attitude of the people as well.
Apart from this, it can be said that in no uncertain terms that the Swachh Bharat Mission is becoming successful to a great extent because of the determined efforts towards implementation of the visions of the Smart Cities Mission (SCM).
What will be the role of the government or the Jabalpur Municipal Corporation in realising the ‘Smart City’ dream?
Many programmes have been organised by us so far and we have to take up more initiatives in the future. e programme of Smart City Conclave, Jabalpur, is just the beginning of a long journey.
We are also looking forward to a Public- Private Partnership (PPP) as a successful model of execution. Apart from this, there is a need to involve private parties, then only a corpus can be created to supplement the funds to be received from the Centre and the state governments.
An efficient public transport infrastructure is one of the major components of a Smart City? What is your vision to make public transport system more efficient?
We have decided to ensure the last-mile con- nectivity – the most crucial factor in an efficient public transport system. Apart from that, frequency of buses will also be increased. We have also proposed construction of Transit Point or Terminus at strategic locations. Under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), provision of e-rickshaws has been made. The NULM is actually converging the scheme for e-rickshaw. Under the Smart Cities Mission, Area Based Work (ABW) is done. The smart city area will have all the facilities – starting from school, hospital, etc., and will be based on the model of Transit Oriented Development (TOD).
The Jabalpur Municipal Corporation is also planning to open Incubation Centres for training people for self-employment. Various vocational courses will be run at these centres, which will be totally free of cost.
I am happy that the people of Jabalpur are taking active participation in the process, and that makes me feel positive about cent- percent success rate. Where there is people’s participation, the programme is destined to be successful.