A recent study by international research firm Gartner says Citizen Engagement is critical to the success of Smart Cities. Smart City initiatives are no longer about optimised traffic patterns, parking management, efficient lighting and improvements in public works, but enhancement of services and experience, Rajat Bansal, Raipur Smart City Limited (RSCL) Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, writes for Elets News Network (ENN).
Having kept ‘People Powered Smart City’ at the forefront in all RSCL projects since the very beginning, I feel sharing about some of such projects is worth their significance.
Kachra Mahotsav (Garbage Fest’ 18): Applauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February’s edition of ‘Mann ki Baat’, Kachra Mahotsav (Garbage Fest’ 18) was organised to increase awareness, creative use of city waste, and multiple techniques for reusing garbage. The four-day fest (19 – 22 January) had many attractions including unique installations made from garbage, various workshops on garbage, and band performances by Dharavi Rocks, an internationally acclaimed band comprising youngsters living in Mumbai’s slum area and other renowned bands as well.
Heritage Walk: Raipur has many monuments and all of them tell a different story. With a motive to pass on the stories of city’s glorious past, Raipur Smart City Limited initiated the concept of Heritage Walk. The walk, divided into four different routes, is led by heritage enthusiasts from the city who take the group of citizens on an enriching heritage tour. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh in January 2018, the Heritage Walk focussed to educate and let people know about the legacy and rich cultural heritage of Raipur.
Mor Raipur Club: To integrate fresh and young minds into RSCL projects, Mor Raipur Clubs were created in the major colleges in Raipur. This club comprises student ambassadors as well as enterprising young individuals. The Mor Raipur Club is one point contact between Smart City Raipur and the institution. From time to time, Mor Raipur Club members also voluntarily participate in the activities of RSCL.
Anand Samaj Library: The 108-year-old heritage building of the Anand Samaj library was renovated and given a modern touch through various facilities. The seating capacity was increased and more books were added in the reading section while preserving the old books in new almirahs.
To accumulate more readers, additional rooms were made along with a new parking space in the premises. Installation of Wi-Fi, initiation of e-library, CCTV cameras and air conditioners in the library along with toilets and drinking water facilities were added in addition to the existing facilities. Established in 1908, Anand Samaj library is the oldest library in Chhattisgarh. Its best feature, apart from its design and history, is the finest collection of old and heritage books.
Under the Smart Cities Mission, this library was renovated without tampering the rich cultural heritage and legacy the library has preserved for years. The Smart City’s renovated project of Anand Samaj library is all remodeled with new facilities while retaining its original heritage look to appeal the modern readers. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh inaugurated the renovated structure in January 2018. From time to time, cultural and art festivals are being organised at Anand Samaj Library.
“Think Raipur is an initiative to seek ideas from citizens in transformation of Raipur into a Smart City. Launched in September 2017, RSCL, with an intent to promote entrepreneurship invited innovative ideas from the citizens that would make Raipur a better city to live.”
Drone Based Property Survey: The Geographical Information System (GIS) based aerial mapping work has been estimated at Rs 97.08 lakh. The areal mapping started from zone 1,ward – 8 and the image capturing in all the eight zones have been completed. The overall goal of this project is to geo-enable and to automate various civic body functions. The larger objective is to have base map having detailed information about each property, road network, water bodies, trees census etc, within the jurisdiction of Raipur Municipal Corporation and implement property tax assessment and asset management system which will handle automated workflows. It also encompasses identification of new buildings once in two years through change detection.
Smart Sakhi Campaign: Raising awareness regarding sanitation and health education among girls, RSCL launched the Smart Sakhi programme with the help of soft skill trainers and child counselors. The roped in counselors are teaching fine details of physical education, health and sanitation to school girls studying in class 6 and above. It’s primarily focusing on the schools in slum areas.
Think Raipur: Think Raipur is an initiative to seek ideas from citizens in transformation of Raipur into a Smart City. Launched in September 2017, RSCL, with an intent to promote entrepreneurship invited innovative ideas from the citizens that would make Raipur a better city to live.
In total, 3,000 ideas were received, and all of them fell under the six defined verticals of Raipur Smart City, i.e. Rising Raipur, Shining Raipur, Badhiya Raipur, Harihar Raipur, Compassionate Raipur, and Digital Raipur. The selected 18 ideas are now working closely with State’s incubation centre 36 Inc, where they are being helped with cloud services, software support, eco system and mentorship.
(The writer is Rajat Bansal, CEO and MD, RSCL, who has always kept ‘People Powered Smart City’ at the forefront in all RSCL projects.)