“No city habitable unless it attracts investment and creates jobs”

Pradeep Misra, chairman and MD, REPL, talks about urban planning challenges

pragya

Praggya Guptaa | May 10, 2018


#Smart City   #Smart Cities   #Urban Development   #Urban Planning  


Most of our big cities were built during the British era. They were meant to accommodate a certain size of population and last for a certain period. However, due to rapid urbanisation, these cities have become overcrowded with an unbearable pressure on civic amenities including water and sanitation. In an interaction with Governance Now, Misra talks about urban planning challenges while working on the Smart Cities project. 

What is the status of Smart City projects in Varanasi and Bhopal? Did you face any major challenge?

Challenges may arise due to absence of a master plan, environmental loss and area expansion issues. For example, the Madhya Pradesh government had to change the original location of the Bhopal Smart City project because of local resistance. Now in the new location, the Smart City project will be implemented in an area that is less than half of the original.

How do you ensure that these cities are not only smart but sustainable too?
Economic factors are crucial to the success of a smart city. So, we focus on laying out a clear plan of vibrant economic growth of the city, based on multiple growth drivers. We also identify the potential for job creation. The focus is not only on primary economic jobs but also on service jobs. The city also needs enough skilled manpower to run its services and maintain infrastructure.

A smart city must also have a reliable, affordable and sustainable transport system. Along with a robust public transport system, last-mile connectivity is necessary for optimal utilisation of mass transit systems. A new city’s mobility system must be integrated with the regional transport system.

There are cities in China that were once developed as satellite towns, but now have turned into ghost cities. Do you see such risks in India?
We should not indulge in such alarmism. But we must ensure that smart cities offer affordable houses and affordable transportation system besides economic sustainability. No city can be habitable unless it attracts investment and creates jobs. Smart cities will also have to offer a sense of security to its residents if they are to become attractive habitations.

The government has planned to transform Varanasi into a Kyoto-like city. Do you see this happening?
Varanasi is beset with problems like traffic congestion, electricity wires hanging on poles and potholed and semi-encroached roads, which are major put-offs for the local and foreign tourists. However, these will be things of the past once the city gets key facilities of a smart city project – integrated smart traffic management system, smart roads and smart buildings. The traffic system would help the city in overcoming chronic traffic congestion. The city’s major roads will have heritage lights, and its buildings [will have] murals depicting the essence of Varanasi and life history of its legendary figures.

pragya@governancenow.com


(The interview appears in the May 15, 2018 issue)

Comments

 

Other News

IIT Bombay Racing to launch ‘EVoX’ tomorrow

IIT Bombay Racing will launch its 6th generation electric car ‘EVoX’ in the institute’s on Saturday. The racing car developed by Formula Student team from India based at IIT Bombay is designed to run at 100 km per hour in just 2.88 seconds. It is powered by 40 KW motors, titanium uprights

SAIL supplies 10,500 tonnes of steel in Kishanganga hydroelectric power project

SAIL has supplied 10,500 tonnes of steel for the 330 mega watt hydroelectric project, featuring three power generating units of 110 MW each. The enterprise’s steel supply consists of TMT rebars, structurals, plates and sheets. SAIL had also supplied around 70 percent steel used in the

Algerian Ambassador visits Goa Shipyard

The recent visit of Ambassador of Algeria to India H.E. Hamza Yahia Cherif to Goa Shipyard Limited has given a boost to the PSU’s ambition of receiving international orders from the Mediterranean region. CMD, GSL, Rear Admiral (Retd) Shekhar Mital apprised the Ambassador about various

IOCL posts Rs 21,346 crore net profit in 2017-18

IndianOil has clocked a net profit of Rs 21,346 crore for 2017-18 fiscal as compared to Rs 19,106 crore in the last fiscal. The reported revenue from operations for 2017-18 FY was Rs 5,06,428 crore as compared to Rs 4,45,442 crore in 2016-17. IndianOil’s reported revenue from operation

NTPC to help Bihar improve power sector

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was entered amongst Bihar government, Bihar State Power Holding Company Ltd. (BSPHCL), Bihar State Power Generation Co. Ltd (BSPGCL), North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd.(NBPDCL), South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd.(SBPDCL), Bihar State Power Transmission

ONGC team summits Mt Kanchenjunga

A team of ONGC has successfully scaled the third highest and most challenging peak, Mt Kanchenjunga. The first group comprising five ONGC employees completed the mission on May 20, 2018 while the second group of four employees and one Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) member summited the peak a day la

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter