In order to move on to the next phase of the Central government’s Smart City project, officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation have prepared a pan-city development plan that majorly focuses on improving the city’s traffic situation.
Ghaziabad had cleared the initial phase of the Smart City project in July after it entered a final list of 12 cities selected from Uttar Pradesh. For the second phase, 20 cities from across the country will be selected from the initial list of 100 cities.
For that, city officials had to suggest pan-city and area-based development plans in their proposal. For the latter, they have proposed a riverfront development plan for areas near the Hindon.
The two ideas were mooted based on inputs received from city residents during the invitation for online suggestions, the deadline for which ended on November 30. However, city residents could muster hardly 35,000 suggestions. The number is far behind other cities like Saharanpur, which attracted nearly 90,000 suggestions, although its municipal corporation came into existence only around five years ago.
“Most of the suggestions received were about improving the traffic system in Ghaziabad. People also suggested tackling solid waste, but traffic emerged as a major problem,” said Abdul Samad, municipal commissioner.
“For the pan-city plan, we proposed for a traffic management system that will include removal of encroachments, diversions, widening of crossings, removal of on-road parking, and even issuing e-challans against violators,” he added.
For area-based development, officials proposed development of nearly 600-700 acres along the river Hindon.
“For development of these areas, we decided on a plan that includes riverfront development, setting up of IT parks and start-up villages for training purposes. The areas near the river Hindon have been neglected for a long time and if we move to the next phase, the funds received will help us develop them,” Samad said.
Officials said that a nearly 500-page document was prepared for the proposals and it would be submitted to state officials by the weekend at a meeting scheduled in Lucknow. Once the plans are screened and fine tuned by state officials, the final proposals will be forwarded to the Central government.