For Baner resident Kushal Deshmukh, the selection of Aundh Baner Balewadi as the first area to be developed as smart city has raised his hopes of an improved quality of life for him and his family in the coming years. “The smart city contest within the city gave me and other residents an opportunity to make the civic administration work towards improving the civic infrastructure in the area,” he said, adding that the participation of residents from the area in the contest was overwhelming.
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“The selection of Aundh Baner Balewadi area for developing as smart city gave us a lot of relief. However, there is no visible change in infrastructure in the area, but there is a reason to expect an improvement … when the implementation of projects begin in full swing. The civic issues in the area would see a change if everything that is promised turn into reality,” says Kushal.
The traffic problem has been a serious issue but the proposed development of roads under smart city with cycle tracks and footpaths would ease the situation, he said.
“The residents will get the real benefits of smart city after they are able to use facilities of non-motorised transport. This would automatically reduce pollution in the area,” said Kushal.
For him, the smart city implementation also meant the use of digital technology to ease and speed up civic services.
“There are various mobile applications being launched under smart city which is providing easy access to citizens to raise civic concerns, but unfortunately, the response of the civic administration is not as expected,” he added.
Kushal said the on-field response to public grievances would play a major role in establishing the area a model of smart cities and the civic authorities should work towards it.
The conservation of energy by making maximum use of solar energy and proper use of water through installation metres would inculcate better habits in residents on the use of natural resources, he says.