Aligarh’s march towards development

Satya Prakash Patel, Commissioner, Aligarh Municipal CorporationAligarh Municipal Corporation is presently focusing on building an efficient drainage system, a network of smart roads, and an intelligent transport and surveillance system in the city. The corporation is also on its way to establish an Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) soon, says Satya Prakash Patel, Commissioner, Aligarh Municipal Corporation in conversation with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN).

Tell us on the various Smart City projects in Aligarh?

Aligarh was selected under the third round of Smart Cities Mission. We have already set up the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and selected the Project Management Consultants (PMCs). We have also formulated the projects. While few projects are in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) stage, some are in the tendering stage as well. It is expected that in the coming months, a few projects will get off the ground. Aligarh Smart City will be developed as an eco city. We seek to develop water and energy grids along with conserving the greenery of the city. We want to use technology to make the life of the citizens easy so that Aligarh becomes one of the most liveable cities in India.

Can you elaborate more on the key focus areas of development under the Aligarh Smart Cites Mission?

We are focusing on building an efficient drainage system, a network of smart roads, an intelligent transport and surveillance system in the city. We are soon going to set up an Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC). To enhance round the clock security in the city, thousands of surveillance cameras and Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be connected with ICCC. We are also looking at monetising the data we gather so that the Aligarh Smart City SPV becomes financially independent and sustainable in the future.

Please tell us about the projects which are in the tendering stage?

The DPR of ICCC is almost complete and we are soon going to float the tender. DPR of Smart Roads has been completed. We have already floated the Request for Proposal (RFP) for solar energy projects. DPRs worth Rs 500 crores have already been completed. We have also tendered projects worth Rs 200 crores. Soon a large number of projects will be started. By the end of this year, projects worth Rs 600 crores will be tendered. How has been the public response for Smart City projects? The citizens of Aligarh are jubilant.

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They are looking forward to the completion of projects under the Smart City Mission. They are keen to see the projects on the ground. The Aligarh administration is working hard to conceptualise the projects and implement them.

What response have you received from the private sector for these projects?

Not only Indian companies but international companies are keen on collaborating with us. A Dutch delegation has already visited us. They are interested in building a robust infrastructure in the city, especially for the drainage and water supply system. For the ICCC project, most of the leading companies interested in it have already visited Aligarh and taken the note of the key requirements.

Big players like Cisco, Larsen and Toubro and PWC have also visited us. We are looking for experienced market players to develop a world-class infrastructure in Aligarh. What progress in terms of smart city projects has been made in the last one year? For the last one year, we were doing a thorough study of the project plans so as to develop better understanding before inception of various projects. We have been able to complete detailed project reports and take the projects to the tendering stage. The initial stage was that of planning and now we are in the execution stage.

What challenges do you face in implementing the projects?

One of the major challenges we have been facing is engaging with the Project Management Consultants. We are not getting the required quality of assistance and facilitation from these consultants. On the other hand, our local administration is doing a great job in managing the SPV.