Although the city of nawabs failed to make it to the list of ‘smart cities’ in the first phase, it seems that no lessons have been learnt yet.
Despite repeated appeals by the Lucknow Municipal Corporation through radio, cinema halls and multiplexes to log on to the official website (mygov.in), the response from its denizens so far have been rather laidback -- only 77 people out of a population of 30 lakh in the past one week.
Public participation is one of the several reasons why the city lagged behind in the first phase. If the trend continues, the state capital may miss the chance to qualify in the second phase as well.
The tepid response from the residents has come as a disappointment for the officials working on the project. In the first round, the city could garner only 19,000 suggestions and lost some vital points. Even cities like Bhopal and Aligarh bagged 1.5 lakh and 70,000 votes respectively.
Allahabad, Jhansi and Kanpur scored more than double the votes than the state capital in citizens’ participation column.
An official of LMC on the condition of anonymity said even elected members of the corporation were not taking pride in the smart city project.
“They lack vision, dedication and love for the city. The LMC house has 110 elected corporators and 10 nominated members. Had they voted for the project we could have secured at least 120 suggestions. Corporators can fight for their quota of money but not for such an important project which can change the face of the city,” he said.
Additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava said lesser number of suggestions did not mean that Lucknow had no civic problem. “People are not giving suggestions due to their easy-going attitude,” he said.
He remarked that the people complained about poor civic amenities but were not coming forward to vote and share their ideas to make the city smart and clean.
Srivastava is presently attending a training programme of smart city projects in Noida and Delhi.
Leader of opposition in LMC house Sayyed Yawar Hussain Reshu admitted that corproators should vote first and the LMC officials should approach public representatives who could organise awareness camps.
Leader of BJP corproators Ramesh Kapoor Baba said he would talk to corporators and urge them to share suggestions on the website.