Kota Marching Towards a Smarter Future

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Dr Vikram Jindal

Dr Vikram Jindal

Kota Municipal Corporation is strengthening the police department by equipping police personnel with solutions that can allow them to issue eChallan and track any vehicle with the help of CCTV cameras, says Dr Vikram Jindal, Municipal Commissioner, Kota Municipal Corporation, and Additional Chief Executive Officer, Kota Smart City Limited, Kota, in conversation with Kartik Sharma and Harshal Desai of Elets News Network (ENN).

What are the key components of a ‘Smart City’?

I am of the opinion that cleanliness is the most important component of a ‘Smart City’. If a city is clean, its waste disposal management is smart and efficient, and the garbage is handled resourcefully – we can claim that we are on the right track to become a smart city. Second noteworthy component of a smart city is making it encroachment-free. We need roads which are wide enough to enable people travel without hurdles. Besides, we should have enough open spaces – parks, pavements and gardens for citizens where they can stroll and exercise.

These might not be the so-called traditional components, but I believe these are the basic necessities and are of great importance to make a city smarter.

“The Department of Information Technology & Communication (DoITC) is building an integrated Command-andControl Centre. This centre will take feed from CCTV cameras across the city.”

Which areas are you planning to focus on in Kota?

Our requirements for making the city of Kota smarter are completely different from the rest of the world. We have to streamline the basic system and, at the same time, make the most of available advanced information technologies to ensure smart policing, smart mobility, smart street lighting, etc.

We are focussing majorly on strengthening the police department through solutions that can help police personnel issue eChallans and track vehicles using CCTV cameras. We are also working on streamlining our transportation system and are determined to make the best of available GPS technology which will allow people to know the exact location of their buses and book their tickets online. We have been working on building modular bus shelters across the city which will be equipped with a toilet, a bicycle sharing platform, a small shop, etc. The modular design can be installed instantly. We are also planning to install a tracking system to monitor the waste.

Open drains are a big issue in Kota. We are now planning to make parking spaces over these drains to expand parking spaces in the city. Further, in the health domain, we are trying to digitise health records of citizens and link it with Aadhaar cards. The Corporation is also exploring possibilities of creating libraries and book banks for common man.

Beautification of the city’s Dussehra Ground is another major project we are working on. It will be built as a huge complex.

What initiative has the Municipal Corporation taken to go paperless?

We are ambitiously working on making Kota Municipal Corporation paperless. This is something which I personally feel will boost the efficiency of the Corporation and strengthen transparency in our operations. We will be assisted by BSNL in this project and if everything goes well, in the next one month we will start using the same.

What are your plans to boost tourism in the city?

We have planned to develop a ring road around the Kishore Sagar lake. We have a river and a couple of water bodies in Kota. We have created several parks around these water bodies. We are trying to connect the Canal Road with Kishore Sagar lake and further with riverfront and parks. We plan to develop a track along these areas. We also have plans to build a chain of restaurants along this track. There are plans to beautify the Chambal Garden as well.

Please apprise us of the Command-and-Control Centre?

The Department of Information Technology and Communication (DoITC) is building an integrated Command-and-Control Centre here. This centre will take feed from CCTV cameras across the city and will be used by both Municipal Corporation and the police department.

What inspired you to join administrative services and leave medical profession?

I loved medical profession. But I wanted to contribute to the society through administrative services. I want to ensure that people visit a doctor less frequently. I am determined to ensure an environment where people can lead a hygienic life. I am aiming at creating a society where people are more alert on possible medical implications and they can be educated enough to avoid some of the medical issue.

What inspires you to execute your responsibilities? What message would you like to give to IAS officers and aspirants?

A Municipal Commissioner can do a lot to improve the city and its people. I just want to ensure that I take every right step to do this. I would like to make the most of this opportunity and deliver to the people of Kota.

I am a very health-conscious person. I believe that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. I suggest all to give due importance to their physical health. Do exercises daily.

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