The officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation and members of Ghaziabad RWA federation held a meeting at the corporation headquarters to discuss issues that were hindering the city from becoming a smart city.
Ghaziabad has been selected in the initial phase of the Central government’s Smart City project and a consultant will prepare a detailed project report to move Ghaziabad into the second phase of the scheme.
A majority of the suggestions by RWA members emphasised on environment-friendly measures like banning of polythene bags, better regulation to reduce traffic congestion, provision of designated stands for autorickshaws, construction of an IT hub and development of sports complex facilities on a par with the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi for indoor and outdoor games.
“Open defecation is a major problem and handwash facilities must be provided to schoolchildren,” said Subhash Gupta, one of the members.
Municipal commissioner Abdul Samad apprised the gathering of the measures being taken. He said the Central government is in the process funding a Rs 6-crore project for development of household and community toilets.
“We have already identified 150 places for construction of public toilets. Organisations can come up with proposals for such constructions. Soon, we will also be procuring 600 bins for municipal solid waste collection. These will be distributed to the corporation zones,” he said.
Another RWA member, Jose Leon, came up with a suggestion to create a digital platform for public grievance redressal, where there is a need for more accountability.
Devendra Malik from Rajendra Nagar emphasised the need for identification of vacant plots across the city as these were being used as spots for dumping municipal solid waste.
The residents also highlighted the issue of rampant encroachment by shops, kiosks, hotels, dhabas and generator sets on city roads over the years. “The corporation should act tough against people who encroach upon public land. Encroachments are mushrooming all over the city, even in prime residential colonies,” said RD Goel from Kavi Nagar.
Samad also explained to the gathering that the criteria for the Smart City project and also called on residents to become ‘smart citizens’ in order to improve the environment and general hygiene.