Lucknow: From art city to smart city… miles to go
The journey from a laid-back city of the era of Nawabs to a place with fast moving buses, radio taxis and women’s powerline, the transformation has been tremendous. But civic authorities and experts are yet to come up with a concrete plan for waste management, removal of traffic bottlenecks and encroachments.Updated: Jul 11, 2017 13:39 IST
After getting a lion’s share in the list of 90 cities shortlisted for the central government’s Smart City project so far, Uttar Pradesh is looking forward to becoming a ‘smart state’ dotted with mini-metropolitan cities well-equipped with modern infrastructure and facilities.
In Lucknow, a team of officials is working on the mantra ‘From an art to a smart city’ to transform the City of Nawabs into a bustling metro.
“The journey from a laid back city of the era of Nawabs with rickshaws and tongas on the streets to a place with Metro train, fast moving buses, taxis, 1090 women’s powerline, Dial 100 and 108 ambulance facility, the transformation has been tremendous. The city’s face will change in the days to come,” says additional municipal commissioner and urban planning expert PK Srivastava.
Lucknow has often been identified with its architectural wonders like Rumi Darwaza, Imambada and Satkhanda but in future it will be known for places like Awadh Point, Thandi Sadak, solar energy grid for metros, advanced metro train, 1090 women’s powerline,108 ambulance and Dial 100 systems, he says.
“The seat of power of the Nawabs in the 18th and 19th century will continue to maintain its heritage and culture but will also have latest developments under smart city. The stakeholders are planning to boost its rich culture, cuisine, business, infrastructure, education, tourism and music,” adds Srivastava.
The smart plan
The vision behind planning for Lucknow is the integration of the old and the new – be it culture, cuisine, linguistic heritage, tourism, infrastructure, civic development, drains and river – with the help of technology.
How the project was prepared
Since May 2016, when the name of Lucknow figured on the list of smart cities, all the stakeholders have been brainstorming on the steps to make the cultural hub into a smart city. For the first time, the people of Lucknow started believing that the laid back city had the potential to be at par with metropolitan cities like Mumbai or Delhi.
Urban planners and engineers have chalked out plans but the change is yet to reflect at the ground level.
A special purpose vehicle (SPV) was formed to give an impetus to smart city project.
How the plans were made
“Being a culturally rich city from the times of Lakshman, who founded the city to the era of Nawabs, a proposal was made to accommodate the sentiments of the people while making the city progressive and smart,” says municipal commissioner Udairaj Singh who played an instrumental role in the preparation of smart city project proposal.
“The proposal for Lucknow had to be started with the review and understanding of local needs, feedback and suggestions received from various bodies. These organisations included the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Regional Centre of Environment and Urban Studies (RCEUS), Department for International Development (DFID), Yes Bank and C40 – a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change,” he says.
Singh adds during the preparation of the plan, a meaningful dialogue with citizens, urban planners, stakeholders and experts was held.
“This helped in forming a citizen-centric smart city proposal which can benefit all,” he added.
THE SMART CITY PLAN
The smart city plan is grouped under four focus areas – Jeevant, Sugam, Swachh and Samruddh (vibrant, mobile, clean and prosperous). Goals and sub-goals have been identified to achieve these focus areas
RS 740.57 CRORE plan prepared to strengthen and augment the existing physical infrastructure for ‘Jeevant Lucknow’.
Urban planning expert and former municipal commissioner Diwakar Tripathi says, “During discussion we found roads were frequently dug up in Lucknow for utility services like telephone, mobile, internet and power supply. To check this and to facilitate the provision of infrastructure services, an underground utility duct has been proposed. It will be ready in next five years.”
A smart grid comprising 20 buildings has been proposed which includes rooftop solar panel, rainwater harvesting and treatment and re-use of waste water.
Lucknow Metro will give an impetus to smart traffic plans and decongestion of traffic. As part of the smart city initiative, Metro train corridor is under construction to change the way Lucknow used to travel.
The project, based on smart mobility, aims at removing traffic bottlenecks with smart mobility solutions for commuters.
The project includes pedestrian-friendly pathways (barrier-free) and pelican crossings have been proposed to facilitate walking.
Multi-level smart parking solutions have been proposed to decongest roads from non-regularised on-street parking, thereby improving vehicular movement, resulting in increase in travel speed, and reduction in air pollution and fuel consumption.
Smart solutions (penalty system) to curb encroachments on footpaths and facilitate walkers will be introduced. Authorities say all these plans will materialize in three years.
3,000 CCTV cameras have been proposed across the city but are yet to be installed. Emergency call points and modern police kiosks will ensure safety of citizens.
Other plans such as Dial 100, 108 ambulance and 1090 Powerline for safety of women have already been implemented.
LED-based energy-efficient street lighting to reduce energy consumption is being implemented. About 40% sodium street lights have been replaced with LED lights which save energy.
For the convenience of people, unified smart mobility card will be introduced which will be applicable in metro train, bus as well as taxis.
RS 319.20 CR earmarked for this plan. The objective is to make the selected areas clean by facilitating efficient solid waste management and achieving zero per cent open defecation.
There are 20,000 houses in Lucknow without toilets. A programme to construct 60,000 community toilets has been launched and a scheme to help the poor construct toilets at their homes has also been introduced.
Lucknow produces 1500 metric tons of solid waste daily and a comprehensive plan has been chalked out for its disposal and management.
There is a proposal to augment the sewage management system and to arrange roadside and community smart bins, underground garbage bins, waste collection points and door-to-door waste collection from all over the city.
RS 170.73 CR will be spent on the makeover of Qaiserbagh. To showcase the rich culture and cuisine of the era of Nawabs, the area will be given a facelift in the next five years with development works worth Rs 170.73 crore. Rejuvenation of the old structure, along with its development as a themed recreational space with features of museum, has been planned for the area.
The underutilized and degraded structures in heritage area need intervention which would come through smart city project.
At the same time, improvement in social infrastructure will be ensured to improve the quality of life as well as the physical development of the area.
Though the ‘zero milestone’ of Lucknow will remain at the DM’s residence, Awadh Point will be the new zero point of the city’s culture, heritage and cuisine in the days to come.
Planned at historic Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, it is one of the most ambitious projects of the smart city.
Witness to several historic events in the past, the park will go through a transformation under the smart city plan.
The Green Gas Limited will lay the underground line for piped gas supply in the area instead of supply through cylinders.
Awadh Point will be the area where the spirit of Lucknow will be recreated in cuisine lane, cultural heritage centre, a state-of-the-art theatre, space for community gathering and a cultural hub for tourists.
Awadh Point will have stalls and eateries offering Awadhi cuisine. To add to the beauty of the park and its rich heritage, special lights and fountains will be installed.
Multi-storey parking under the Globe Park and other places will ensure transport discipline. Thandi Sadak for heritage walk will help create a centralised recreational space thereby amalgamating the old and new Lucknow.
Citizen engagement projects
Based on citizen engagement, Gomti river front development was added as an inclusive approach. Landscaping of parks/green areas with public facilities was proposed to create lively open spaces.
‘One Lucknow’, a smart city knowledge management centre, has been proposed to facilitate incubation centre for knowledge industries.
Traffic management proposal (Rs 476.58 cr)
For long, Lucknow has missed an integrated traffic management through smart city surveillance system. It was successfully tested in Hazratganj when public address system was used to stop people from parking vehicles on the roads.
Smart solutions have been proposed for parking, terminals, multi-level mobile parking on roads especially in heavy traffic areas like Station Road, Chowk, Charbagh, Naka Hindola, Singar Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Bangla Bazar, Rajajipuram, Patrakarpuram,, Indira Nagar and Faizabad Road.
Folding parking solutions will also be provided under the PPP model.
Smart city bus service will have GPS and CCTVs while smart bus shelters will welcome commuters.
First Published: Jul 11, 2017 13:39 IST