Chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Saturday launched four projects aimed at taking Jaipur a step closer to becoming a smart city.
The projects – which comprised the setting up of a 100-megawatt solar power plant at Chaugan Stadium, renovation work on 14 baoris (step-wells), beautification of Ramniwas Bagh, and the installation of real-time digital display systems at bus stops – were announced during an event at Birla Auditorium to celebrate the first anniversary of the Centre launching the 100 smart cities project.
“We want to turn Jaipur into a smart city with the help of its smart citizens. Initiatives such as rooftop solar power plants will help residents save up to 50 per cent on electricity costs. At the same time, our emphasis is on restoring the Walled City area without disrupting its original look,” Raje said, adding that WiFi hotspots will be set up at 29 places across the city.
The chief minister said the state government will spend Rs 2,500 crore on the smart city project, besides Rs 500 crore from the Union treasury. However, Jaipur can be developed as a green city on the lines of Singapore only if the people extend full support to the project, she added.
“Cleanliness is a big concern. We will impose heavy penalties on people caught littering at parks, roads and other public places. Stray animals such as cows and dogs have become a big issue in the Walled City area. If cows are found roaming on the streets, they will be taken to the gaushala – from where they can be released only through the payment of Rs 10,000 as fine,” said Raje.
As many as 20 places in Jaipur will also be brought under video surveillance to discourage crime.
Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, state minister for housing and urban development, said the government’s focus was on urbanisation. “The smart city will be built over an area of 600 acres. We want inclusive, affordable and equitable development of Jaipur,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Jaipur Smart City Ltd CEO V Saravana Kumar said the project would also include a public bicycle sharing system and a proposed night market in the Walled City.
However, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee vice president Archana Sharma said only concrete steps towards ensuring cleanliness, hygiene and security will help – not a smart city tag. She cited the Jaipur Municipal Corporation’s failure to clean drains ahead of the monsoon and the recent rape of two minor girls to claim that not enough was being done on those fronts.