MAHARASHTRA CHIEF Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday that it will take at least 10 years to transform Pune into a “smart city” as the process can’t be carried out in a short duration of one or two years.
Allaying the fears of the local leaders, he said, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which will be formed to implement the project, will not encroach on the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation and that it was a necessity for getting the finance required to execute such a large-scale project.
Fadnavis was expressing his thoughts on the “Idea of Smart City” organised by the Kakasaheb Gadgil Foundation as part of the 50th death anniversary commemoration of the former Congressman who was also part of the first Cabinet of Independent India. The event was also attended by former environment minister Jairam Ramesh who dealt with the subject of “Environment and Sustainable Development.” District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, Congress MLC Anant Gadgil and MP Vandana Chavan were present.
Fadnavis, who emphasised on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in bringing about the change in the way transport, education, governance worked, said that technology will play an important role in creation of smart cities.
“The smart cities project is all about creation of facilities, opportunities and services. The processes have to be efficient, yet affordable. In cities, like Pune, the biggest challenge is to streamline the public transport system. Here too, ICT will play an important role. We will have to create systems that will provide smart solutions to these problems. If the traffic, parking and inter-mode co-ordination is done real time, it will propel people into choosing public transport,” said Fadnavis.
He said that creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of the project was a must as it meets the legal needs to gather finance and create accountability for the expenditure.
“SPV system is not new at all. Bodies like PMPML (Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited), JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) were all SPVs which were created for implementation of various schemes. The system is accepted all over the world. No one should fear that the SPV will lead to curtailment of the rights of the local civic bodies,” he said.
Fadnavis said that “decentralised garbage disposal” will also form a major component of the projeci. “In Maharashtra, we create a total of 20,000 tonne garbage of which 13,000 tonne is transported out of cities. Only 1,500 tonne garbage is disposed inside the cities by way of manuring or any other sustainable way. This means that every day we are creating mounds of garbage and a solution is yet to be found. The solution for this is decentralised disposal of the garbage right at the source of its creation. People’s participation is the key to achieve this,” said Fadnavis. “The project is about creation of a market, providing employment opportunities and bringing in money to the rural areas,” he said.