Interview

JoDA: Aiming towards Holistic Development of Sun City

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Meghraj Singh Ratnoo, Commissioner

The Jodhpur Development Authority (JoDA) must embrace advanced technologies to make everyone’s life easier. Making most of the Information Technology in the best possible manner is of course, one of our top priorities, says Meghraj Singh Ratnoo, Commissioner, Jodhpur Development Authority in an exclusive interview with Harshal Desai and Mansi Singh of Elets News Network (ENN). In this interview, the recently appointed Commissioner also speaks about his vision for the Sun City on urban development while keeping the heritage intact.

At the outset, we congratulate you for the new posting. How do you envisage the new role as commissioner of Jodhpur Development Authority?

In Rajasthan, in fact, anywhere in the country, development authorities have a major role to play as they conceptualise and implement various infrastructure, commercial projects, residential design & construction, and slum development.

Further, implementation of master plans, eco-friendly schemes, and transport systems are some other functions which are executed by the development authorities. Interestingly, nowadays, housing is one more area where development authorities are focussing a lot.

Some of the initiatives like online File Tracking System (FTS) implemented by JoDA have earned the institution great accolades. Which are other such IT and eGovernance initiatives you plan to carry in JoDA?

These are indeed great initiatives. If the file movement is on a computer system and available online, it becomes easy for all of us to track the files. Not just the file movement, but the applications submitted to JoDA are also uploaded on the system. It also helps us keep track of applications and their status.

IT and eGovernance can be leveraged to make the entire operations in JoDA more transparent and smooth. I strongly believe that we at JoDA must embrace advanced technologies to make everyone’s life easier. Making most of the Information Technology in the best possible manner is of course, one of our top priorities. We will surely keep looking for innovations which can streamline the functioning of JoDA.

How do you plan to address the traffic issues within the city?

As I have just joined here; I will need some time to evaluate the traffic situation in the city. What I can assure you is that traffic movement is an important element of any urban development setting, and we will take all possible measures to improve the same in the city. The top priority must be ensuring the safety and security of people driving vehicles. JoDA is already working on the elevated road and other road construction projects. With combined efforts from Municipal Corporations, Traffic Police and JoDA, we will surely improve the overall traffic woes in the city.

Jodhpur is also an international tourist destination. What will be your vision to make it comfortable for tourist across the world?

Tourism is, of course, an important element. The Rajasthan Government is aiming for almost double the number of tourist arrivals in the next five years, and Jodhpur being one of the prominent places, will surely contribute to this accomplishment. JoDA is developing some beautification projects within the city.

Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the tourism department of Rajasthan Government and UNESCO. The agreement is to promote the heritage and culture of Western Rajasthan. Jodhpur is among the many cities, which are rich with culture and heritage and will be promoted as a new tourism circuit. The other cities are Barmer, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, which will be developed.

As we know, there are local art, music and handicraft abundance in and around Jodhpur. This agreement will help us promote this and generate some jobs as well.

What is your vision and what are the areas you will like to give priorities in next one year at JoDA?

We will work on making JoDA operations transparent by using good governance practices. Construction of roads and footpaths and beautification of Jodhpur city will also be top on our priorities. Further, we will give due attention to land reforms and land distribution within our region.

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