The Mamata Banerjee government has submitted a proposal to the Centre that Rajarhat New Town be accorded the status of a smart green city.
The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has placed a 16-point list to the Centre on the initiatives the authorities are taking to develop New Town as a smart city. The township was declared a solar city by the previous UPA government at the Centre.
Officials said the state government wants to stay ahead on Narendra Modi's dream to set up smart cities across the country. "We are working to develop New Town as a smart green city and a proposal has been given to the Centre to accord the status. A specific report is being prepared that will be sent to the Centre within a week," said NKDA and Hidco chairman Debashis Sen, also the state urban development secretary. A detail project report will be prepared on this later.
The authorities are working on several initiatives, such as a vehicle-tracking system for solid waste management, in which the vehicles that are collecting waste in the township are being tracked and their movement and location can be viewed internally on the authority's webpage. The movement of the mechanical sweepers will also come under this tracking system soon. Hidco authorities are already using the file-tracking system in Hidco Bhavan which is WiFi-enabled.
NKDA has started online sanction of building plans, which are being scrutnised through the software and observations are being given through email or mobile text message. The sanctioned building plan is sent to the applicant's email with a digital signature.
New Town authorities are also working on several initiatives to use more energy-efficient devices like LED streetlights and solar panels on rooftops. Canal-top solar energy generation is under preparation. Also, in collaboration with CII, an utility building is coming up which is being targeted to be a green-certified building.
Among other initiatives, the authorities are working on having mobile phone-based grievances. All major public events in the township are now also webcasted as anybody across the globe can log in and watch the events live on their computer screen and much importance is being given on social networking. The authorities have also started sending information on various events to interested citizens through SMS.
The entire township is also being covered by GIS-enabled maps for proper planning. The authorities have started work on a unique plan to turn the entire Rajarhat main arterial road into a WiFi corridor.
The authorities have also started using the smart car parking fee system, in which hand-held terminals are used in designated parking lots to accurately levy the correct fee. Also, the state authorities have spoken on the need to have a monorail or elevated corridor system for making the township a better connected smart city. To improve law and order, the authorities are installing CCTV cameras in various places, like the Eco Park.
Source: The Times of India
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