Ranchi civic body joins public events for ‘smart’ tips

  • Sanjoy Dey, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Mar 15, 2016 15:06 IST
A Facebook page created by the Ranchi Municipal Corporation to seek public opinion on the proposed Smart City. (HT Photo)

After having failed to draw people’s suggestions through social media campaigns for smart city, the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) is virtually going stage-hogging at public events to catch people’s attention.

Ranchi had lost the top 20 list smart city list and now wants to get into the smart race by submitting a reworked version of the smart city proposal (SCP) by April 15. Only after the project get through, the city will be eligible for the central funds in 2016-17. However, the project cannot be complete if it doesn’t incorporate people’s suggestions.

In this connection, the civic body on Monday organised an event on Smart City at Ranchi Trade Fair in Morahbadi. “The event was aimed at informing the people about our smart city proposal and take their feedback,” said municipal commissioner Prashant Kumar.

Ranchi’s first SCP had several lacunas including lack of clarity on costs and resource mobilisation plans besides citizens’ aspirations were also not reflected in the vision document. The city had ranked 84th in the list of 97 cities seeking smart city tag.

To improve the SCP, Union ministry of urban development has also given around 12 suggestions. Major suggestions of them were showcase initiatives taken in the city to improve basic services in the city to address the issues related to basic services and public transport, site’s linkage with other economic, institutional and commercial centres of the city. The ministry also suggested to increase citizen outreach through online platforms such as MyGov and Facebook.

“A few queries were unanswered in the previous SCP like how our Smart City will benefit to other parts of the city. Besides, people’s participation on social media for SCP was also comparatively less,” said Pramod Kumar, RMC Smart City in-charge. He said they would soon prepare the final draft of the improved SCP incorporating urban development ministry’s and people’s suggestion.

Jharkhand had proposed to build its smart city in a greenfield area of 341 acres on the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) campus in Dhurwa. State cabinet on March 9 gave go-ahead to acquire 675.43 acres of land including 341 acres for Smart City from the HEC. RMC is also planning to keep aside Rs 400 crore for Smart City in its annual budget.

RMC officials are, however, upset with poor participation of city people in improved SCP preparations. “Bhubaneswar had got more than 80,000 suggestions from its city people for SCP preparation. In Ranchi, merely 2,000 people turned up with their suggestions. It seemed Ranchi residents are least interested for Smart City,” said a senior RMC official, who did not want to be quoted. He said that they were seeking people’s suggestion on every platform--Twitter, Facebook, RMC’s official website and WhatsApp but response was very poor.

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