Experts at a two-day workshop on Smart City Mission-Karnataka, which began in the city on Friday, stressed the need for developing sustainable smart cities with focus on the requirements of the city and topography.
Speaking at the workshop, organised jointly by the Mangaluru City Corporation, the State government and the World Bank, Shashank Ojha, task team leader, World Bank, said economic development has had a cascading effect on human life. Saying that humanity was now at “the eleventh hour, awaiting disaster”, Mr. Ojha said new projects should not further burden an already overburdened ecology.
Citing South Korea as the model for green growth strategy, Mr. Ojha said every project in that country revolves around preserving and protecting the environment. Everyone has a lot to learn from those practices, he said. More than 21 national projects announced by the Union government may further burden the environment and one has to be careful, he said.
A smart city has to have two major components — infrastructure, whether that entails retrofitting existing ones or investing in greenfield sites, and pan-city information communication technology for effective delivery of services, Mr. Ojha added.
In his opening remarks, V. Ponnuraj, managing director of the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for smart cities in the State, said smart cities should benefit all sections of society and be sustainable and inclusive. A smart city is not just about IT-enabled solutions, he said.
Mr. Ponnuraj cautioned representatives of the six cities selected for the Smart City project not to copy solutions adopted by other cities, for what works in one city may not work in another. Smart planning, smart decision making and smart implementation are necessary for the success of a smart city, he said, urging the city administrations to ensure citizen participation in all levels of smart city, right from planning to execution. After all, the beneficiary is the citizen, he said.
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