Modalities to secure place for Srinagar in ‘Smart Cities’ list finalized

Commissioner Secretary, HU Department, Mr Hridesh Kumar convenes a meeting

The State Government today finalized modalities with different stakeholders to secure place for Srinagar in the final list of Smart Cities that will be announced in January next year.

A high-level meeting was convened here today under the chairmanship of Commissioner Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Mr Hridesh Kumar to discuss the modalities for securing a place for Srinagar in the Smart Cities list.

During the meeting, Mr Kumar urged officers of different departments to synchronize their efforts for ensuring that the summer capital of the state makes it to the final list of Smart Cities which will be announced in January 2017.

A presentation was made at the meeting by the consultant – Voyants Partnering Vision (VPV) – engaged by Srinagar Municipal Corporation to prepare DPR for Srinagar city. The meeting was told that the firm successfully helped the Nagaland government in securing a place for Kohima in the recently announced Smart Cities list.

In their detailed presentation, the VPV consultants said a Smart City envisions wide spectrum development of urban components that provide residents smart solutions to make infrastructure and services better, and also enhance the quality of life.

Describing the strategic components of Smart Cities, they said a combination of retrofit and redevelopment, which include innovative planning, optimum use of resources and provisions of affordable housing would be included in the draft proposal.

Regarding the initial plan for preparing the DPR, a four-pronged action plan has been prepared to provide data sharing in a time-bound manner, suggestions for Smart City proposal, convergence of funds towards Smart City proposal, MoUs and resolutions for Smart City.

Commissioner Secretary H&UDD, Mr Kumar directed the officers of PHE, PWD, I&FC, PDD and other departments to identify a nodal officers who will coordinate with the consulting firm for ensuring timely submission of data about Srinagar city which will be used to draw up proposal for development of Srinagar as Smart City.

Mr Kumar said a similar exercise will be carried out in Jammu city so that both the twin capitals of Jammu and Kashmir make it to the final list of Smart Cities which, he said, is part of ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ of the Coalition Government.

In order to expedite the process, the District Development Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, said he will chair meetings with various departments and set up nodal officers.

Mr Kumar asked the consulting agency to prepare the draft proposal by the end of November 2016 while as the final draft would be submitted to the Government of India in the month of January 2017.

He also stressed various departments to provide necessary assistance to Voyants Partnering Vision in preparing the draft and at the same time provide inputs, data and suggestions to the consulting agency.

Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Mr Bashir Ahmad Khan informed the meeting that the Corporation has already created a Cyber Cell comprising 12 people to provide necessary assistance to Voyants Partnering Vision and a dedicated phone line has been set up to facilitate smooth functioning of the project.

The Srinagar Municipal Corporation, he said, will inform the general public about Smart City project by running campaigns in print and electronic media as well as on internet. He said dedicated pages have been created on social networking sites to get instantaneous feedback from the citizens about the development of Srinagar as Smart City.

The meeting was also attended by Dy Commissioner Srinagar, Managing Director, J&K Housing Board, Chief Executive Officer ERA, J&K, Vice-Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Director Floriculture, Director Health Services, Director Industries and Commerce, Director, Economics and Statistics, Director Handicrafts Kashmir, Director Colleges Kashmir, Director  Archeology and Archives, Chief Town Planner, SMC, Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Chief Engineer, PDD, Chief Engineer, PHE, Chief Engineer, UEED, Chief Town Planner, Kashmir, RTO, Kashmir, CEO Executive Officer, JAKEDA, besides others officers.