Uttarakhand has pinned high hopes on the Smart City project which is likely to take off in 2016, setting the ball in motion for turning Doon into an “eco-friendly knowledge hub.”
According to the state’s proposal sent to the central government, the Smart City will come up as a satellite city on Doon’s outskirts, having state-of-the-art infrastructure and housing top educational institutions of the country.
To be developed over 319 acres of tea estate land, the Smart City will host country’s leading higher educational institutions and will be turned into a logistics and warehousing hub of the state, said R Meenakshi Sundaram, the nodal officer for smart city.
“It will be developed as an eco-friendly knowledge hub of the region, infusing technology for providing timely and accurate information to citizens and authorities for decision making and promoting tourism,” Sundaram said.
With as many as 149 of the total 319 acres to be used for education/vocational education purposes, the smart city will give a boost to the “knowledge capital” image of the city, with a robust information technology (IT) connectivity and digitisation further making life easier.
At least 10% of the Smart City’s energy requirement will come from solar energy. Besides, eco-friendly measures like waste water recycling, storm water reuse and automated vacuum waste collection system will make it even more “green”, said the Smart City proposal of Dehradun.
A special mobile application ‘DehradunOne app’ will also be developed as a part of the pan city project to extend accessible public service delivery to citizens across the city.
Mahesh Bhandari, president of the Doon Resident Welfare Front, an umbrella group of around 60 resident welfare associations of the city, said that the residents are looking forward to setting up of the Smart City. “However, equal attention should be paid to the urbanisation needs of the existing city of Doon,” he said.
In August 2015 the union ministry of urban development chose Dehradun as one of the 98 urban areas to be developed into smart cities. In December, the state government sent a further proposal to the central government in order to clear stage 2 of the national challenge whereby only 20 cities will be finalised for execution of the project in the first phase.