Facing a sluggish pace of work on the flagship ‘Smart City’ project, the Centre has adopted a four-point formula to materialize the plan. The Ministry of Urban Development has asked the concerned agencies to focus on smart roads, vehicle free zones, Wi-Fi and clean drinking water in public places so that the work is visible in public eyes.
Sources said the smart city project was conceptualized nearly two years ago but the project has so far remained only on papers. They said urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu has instructed officials to focus on four-point agenda and the remaining work could be done in due course of time. This, sources claimed, was also being done keeping in view the assembly elections in different states over the next few months. To begin with, Naidu has asked the New Delhi Municipal Council to begin work on improvement of roads. The UD Ministry has cited examples from Copenhagen to make roads pedestrian friendly and suitable for cycling.
Copenhagen is covered by 350km of cycle paths and lanes which are raised from the road making them safe for cyclists. Some cities also have flashing lights on the road to indicate the arrival of cyclists in order to warn drivers beforehand.
The minister has also told the officials to put in place a centralized control and command center for immediate police assistance in case of an eventuality. The idea is to provide police assistance in less than 5 minutes. The command center will also be integrated with the traffic police and the transport system. “Our main focus in market places will be crowd management and removal of encroachment. Congested market places will be made vehicle free zone,” a senior ministry official said.
It may be noted that the Lateen’s zone in the Capital has been listed as the smart city. For development of the area, the Centre has already released funds and the work will be executed through a special purpose vehicle.