‘Mindsets need to change’

| Updated on January 27, 2018

Manjit Singh, Principal Secretary(Urban Development)

Read: Pink City blues: getting smart, but at a price

Assigned to steer the Jaipur Smart City Project to fruition as its nodal officer, Manjit Singh, Principal Secretary (Urban Development), tells Aditi Nigam of the mission and the challenges. Excerpts from an interview:

What does a ‘smart city’ mean?

To me, it’s about making a city liveable for its citizens and filling the gaps – be it housing, water, electricity, transport, parking or sewage. It’s also about plugging the the gaps in the existing schemes and offering people IT-enabled services.

Why was the congested Walled City area chosen?

It’s challenging and was selected after extensive stakeholder consultations and seeking out public opinion. We hired one of the best consultants (Mott MacDonald/E&Y LLP), which is why we have been ranked No. 3 (among the top 20 cities).

What are the key challenges?

First is sewerage, which is almost 50 years old. Then, traffic congestion and limited parking space. Also, people here are not very positive toward public transport facilities. So, mindsets need to change. But for that, public transport has to be efficient and punctual. In four years, we will convert the Walled City into a smart area.

What about vendors’ fears of displacement?

Nothing like that will happen. We will create vending zones in ‘smart areas’. So, say, flower-sellers will have designated areas.

Click here to read about other Smart Cities

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Published on February 14, 2016
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