Rajasthan, the State long been known as a land of deserts and camels, and widely mentioned for its rich traditional culture and vibrant life even in abroad, is fast acquiring a new identity for its multi-pronged development in various sectors. Since being selected under the Smart Cities Mission Kota, one of the four Rajasthani cities chosen in this category, is undergoing a major transformation, explores Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN).
It is pertinent to mention that Rajasthan is the first major State to have Smart City plans approved for all of its four mission cities following barely two rounds of competition.
Kota is one of the four cities, other than Jaipur, Udaipur, and Ajmer, selected under ‘Smart City’ project in the State. It makes an interesting study to understand some of the unique smart initiatives being undertaken by the State Government to enable and support Kota’s emergence as a Smart City.
Six-Lane Cable Stayed Bridge
Just a week ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a 6-Lane Cable Stayed Bridge across Chambal River at Kota. The 1.4 km-long hanging bridge has been erected without any pillar and is said to be an engineering marvel in the State.
Built at a cost of Rs 278 crores, this bridge marks the completion of the East-West corridor and is meant to enable heavy vehicles to bypass Kota city, reducing pollution and traffic snarls. The wildlife friendly shape of the bridge ensures minimum noise pollution.
Abhay Command Centre
Earlier this year in March, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated an Abhay Command Centre for smart policing at the Hemu Kalani Bhawan, first in Kota division. It was the second of its kind in the State, the first centre being in Jaipur.
It is hoped that the unique smart initiative in the form of the Abhay Command Centre may help in smart policing, crime control, traffic management and controlling law and order. The Chief Minister also flagged off 29 strong rider scooter policewomen squad which aims to provide support and help to women in public places.
Intra-State Kota and Jaipur Air-facility
The first commercial flight between Kota and Jaipur was recently flagged off by the Chief Minister from Kota airport. Air service between Kota and Jaipur would be provided by Supreme Airlines. A daily flight from Kota has been started, with the help of a nine-seater aircraft and costing Rs 2,499 for adults and Rs 500 for children.
Rajasthan is the first State in the country where the Government has initiated intra-State airline services. The State government’s scheme for air connectivity among the bigger cities of the State would help boost up tourism, industrial growth and help achieve new dimensions of success in education, medical, and health sectors. The air connectivity in Kota would also largely help students and their parents who rush to Kota for coaching from all parts of the country.
Selfie with Plantation Drive
Under Mukhyamantri Swawlamban Abhiyan (MJSA), the Kota administration has been given a target of planting five lakh saplings, while local self bodies have been asked to plant 5,000 saplings.
Under Selfie with Plantation drive, residents have been asked to take their selfies with the plantation work done by them through the Smart Kota app, which will reflect the person’s selfie, along with location of the plantation, on Google map of Kota.
Notably, Kota Smart City Limited (KSCL), Kota Municipal Corporation (NMC) and the Kota district administration have developed a mobile app named ‘Smart Kota’ to implement the Smart City project.
A new feature of ‘Plantation Leaderboard’ has also been added recently to the app, through which people, departments, organisations doing maximum plantations in a day are shown as ‘plantation leader’ for the day.
Solid Waste Management
Kota Municipal Corporation aims to develop an integrated and efficient Solid Waste Management system with proper segregation at source, door-todoor collection, efficient transportation and scientific processing and disposal. Smart components covered under Pan City are:
- GIS-based Mapping of all routes and GPS/ GSM based real time tracking of existing and well as new vehicles;
- Smart community bins with fill sensors and information transfer through GSM/ GPRS
However, door-to-door collection has already been implemented in two wards and proposed to be extended city-wide. Four 200 litres and 100 litres capacity community bins have been placed in all 65 wards. Two-stage waste collection and transportation is being followed through 100 handcarts, seven auto tippers, 17 dumper placers, seven trucks, two refuse collectors, and 68 tractor trailers.
Electronic weighing machine is also installed in the trenching ground and waste to energy project is proposed on PPP mode.
Safety / Security
Kota has good public safety record. Average response time for distress calls is four minutes, supported by 19 police stations and 14 GPS enabled PCR Vans. RajCop, an app-based platform has been launched for efficient delivery of police services and PUKAR App, for safety of women implemented.
Seamless internet services are being provided in every police station. Meanwhile, 800 CCTV cameras have been installed for comprehensive city surveillance. One-stop Crisis Management centre for students with the UNICEF support has also been set up.
Dr Vikram Jindal, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Kota City, in an exclusive interview with Elets News Network (ENN) revealed:
“We are focussing majorly on strengthening the police department through solutions that can help police personnel issue eChallans and track vehicles using CCTV cameras.” “Transportation system is being streamlined to make the most of available GPS technology, enabling people to know the exact location of their buses and book their tickets online.” “Across the city, efforts are on to build modular bus shelters which will be equipped with a public convenience facility, a bicycle sharing platform, a small shop, etc. The modular design can be installed instantly. We have plans to install a tracking system to monitor the waste.” “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.” “We are ambitiously working on making Kota Municipal Corporation paperless. “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 also have plans to build a chain of restaurants along this track. There are plans to beautify the Chambal Garden as well.”
Cultural Aspects and Recreational Assets
Kota’s Dussehara festival is famous and enjoys patronage at par with the Mysore and Kullu’s Dussehara festivals. Thousands of national and international tourists throng to Kota during the grand Dussehara festival organised annually at the Dussehara Ground. In a bid to develop the Dussehara ground as Cultural, Recreational and Commercial centre, the Municipal Corporation has prepared a Master Plan. It will include Ram Lila Ground, auditorium, open theatre, art gallery, convention and exhibition centre, club house, multiplex and service apartments etc. Kota also has reasonably welldeveloped recreation facilities including the CV garden, Kishore Sagar lake, Chambal Garden etc. in the city’s central part. Kota holds potential to become base station for eco -tourism circuit of the Mukundara tiger hills resort and Chambal reserve. Within Kota city, there is scope for beautification and augmenting aesthetic value of city, especially at Kishor Sagar lake and Kotri Talab. Other initiatives of Government of Rajasthan include a State of the Art and large scale sports complex is proposed at JK pavilion with an outlay of Rs 150 crore.