Smart city in making: Aligarh gets a chance to unlock its potential | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Smart city in making: Aligarh gets a chance to unlock its potential

To tap the potential of the traditional lock industry, Aligarh will be made an International Lock City.

lucknow Updated: Jul 26, 2017 16:29 IST
S Raju/ Pradeep Saxena
The officials have allocated Rs 2,566 crore for the smart city project.
The officials have allocated Rs 2,566 crore for the smart city project.(HT Photo)

The inclusion of Aligarh in the smart city list has given the residents hope of a better life as far as civic amenities go. But the hope is tempered by the realisation that there are multiple challenges in modernising the city. The goal can only be achieved if officials join hands with the people.

Municipal commissioner Santosh Kumar Sharma says, “Our responsibilities have increased after the smart city declaration. We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure effective execution of the plan to make it a city that lives up to people`s hopes and expectations.”

A core area of five square kilometres, comprising old and new city areas, has been demarcated for the ‘area based development’ which will focus on giving people uninterrupted electricity supply, metered water supply, proper drainage facilities, ensure recycling of waste water and solid waste management. Other key elements of the plan are rain water harvesting, ground water recharge, pedestrian friendly footpaths, traffic management, innovative use of open space, water management, industrial development and sustainable socio-economic development..

The pan-city proposal will cover the remaining areas of the city.

The city needs to improve its drainage system, sanitation, water supply and traffic to be truly smart. (HT Photo)

Mayor Shakuntala Bharti admits the city needs to improve its drainage system, sanitation, water supply and traffic to be truly smart. She claims that efforts have been initiated in this direction. It has resulted in construction of the city’s first-ever multistory building to accommodate over 400 families from different segments of the society. Moreover, construction of a modern smart shopping and parking complex has been proposed.

The officials have allocated Rs 2,566 crore for the smart city project.

A budget of Rs 2,090 crore will be spent on area based development and the remaining 476 crore on facilities in the pan city proposal.

Assistant municipal commissioner Hrishikesh Singh says the biggest challenge of the project is to ensure co-ordination among different government departments and achieve single-window clearance for citizen services as part of e governance.

To tap the potential of the traditional lock industry, Aligarh will be made an International Lock City. The skills of those associated with the industry will be sharpened and a plan will be drawn to promote the sale of their products in the global market.

Athar Pervez, chartered engineer and town planner, raised doubts about the success of the smart city plan. He expressed dismay over poor implementation of building norms and urban planning. He blamed officials for overlooking norms for constructing buildings, roads and other developmental activities.

“How can we aspire for a smart city without adhering to the norms of development?” he asked.

“So far, we have contributed only in developing urban slums by overlooking the norms of a planned city,” he said.

The mission planners have decided to form a three-committee headed by the divisional commissioner to monitor, supervise and execute plans for ‘Smart City’. The other two members will be city`s municipal commissioner as chief executive officer and an official of Smart City mission.

After a certain period, the developed smart city will be handed over to a municipal corporation for maintenance.

The officials have also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aligarh Muslim University, Pune based C-DAC and RCEUS (regional centre for urban and environmental studies) as knowledge partners in the project. Prof Mohd Zahid, dean, faculty of arts, at Aligarh Muslim Univesity says: “The AMU is a world famous organisation and officials will have the opportunity to utilise the knowledge of its experts for the smart city projects.