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Labour Pains of the Smart City Ache Too Much!

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06 Jul, 19 11:21
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Labour Pains of  the Smart City Ache Too Much!

As the monsoon arrives, the open seams of the town of Udaipur cry for immediate attention as in the pre-monsoon rains only the roads have caused enough hassle to the citizens. 

It may be argued that for a better future one has to bear the pangs. But these pangs of the birth of a smart city have become too painful. Udaipur has been included in the list of 100 cities of India which might become smart city as selected by Prime Minister NarendraModi. On implementation of Smart City Project in Udaipur, it was presumed that roads especially highways would be kept clean along with installation of safety measures. Local transport would be strengthened; public places will be equipped with WiFi and other ultra modern facilities.

The listed cities are required to have some basic amenities for implementing the project. The parameters of smart city include proper sewerage line, heritage walk, low carbon mobility, presence of good education institutes and stared hotels. Of these the sewerage system is the only thing that seems to be visible around. The roads have been unseamed and sewerage pipes are being put in the furrows which are at places ten to fifteen feet deep. The toilets of the houses are to be connected to these lines. Those houses which have been connected already have started facing problems as the water in the sewerage pipes is flowing inside the home with the very first rain. There is no stool in the lines right now but when it gets connected with toilets there is a risk that all the filth will flow back inside the house. Pipes of kitchen and those of toilets fall into the same pit. Who knows some day the filth may flow right into the kitchen. After connecting the pipes no one has cared to come back and check if the system is working properly. 

Retired Executive Engineer Sh.G.P.Soni who is an authority on the subject, told that in western countries when new towns are planned sewerage lines and gas pipe lines are laid down so that as and when the houses are constructed, they may be given connection. In a settled township where already septic tanks are there, the idea of laying down a sewerage line is unscientific

 In Udaipur Smart City Project Phase-I Conservation & Development Works of Heritage façade, Lighting & Signage’s for Historic Bazaars in the Walled City, Udaipur  was conceived  and a sun of Rs. 660.00 lacs was laid out for this.  

Similarly redevelopment of Government schools and Anganbaris in the municipal area was planned with a huge sum of about 1000 lacs. Tenders had been issued but actual work on the ground still needs to be done. Public transport system is not seen and the roads are overcrowded with personal vehicles. Ironically bus stands have been built by the roadside at many places. What people will wait for standing in the shade of such bus stands?

 What is worse is that no effort to make the hills surrounding Udaipur green is visible. Instead, hills are being ripped for hotels and other construction work. A huge water tank has been constructed on a hill of MachlaMagra to provide 24X7 water supply to the houses of the walled city. But where is water? Today water is being supplied for one hour every alternate day, from where we shall get water to provide 24X7 supply. 

And what is the need of this? The government schools and Anganbaries are in the same state as they were. The only development seen is the parking in Town hall and open jyms at places in the town.Mosin Khan, leader of opposition at the Udaipur Municipal Corporation, said no significant change has been witnessed in the lives of residents of the city, where nearly Rs. 101 crore has been spent under the smart city mission and Rs. 98.81 crore under convergence projects. “The entire city has been dug up for constructing underground duct for electric wires. Several other works done, such as open air gyms, are seldom being used,” Khan said. “The city has a lot of potential in terms of tourism. We were expecting something significant to happen but we are disappointed.”

QummerUlZamanChoudhary, CEO of Udaipur Smart City Limited, said “We have a major integrated infrastructure project. In another four months we will see a good number of projects completed. 

The projects, such as the ones on heritage, city bus and IT, are at the tendering stage. We are restoring the existing sewer lines. To increase the speed of the projects, multi-fronts have been opened up.”

Mushrooming private educational institutions have not even been touched in this project. They have become centers of all types of corruption. Teachers, parents and students are all exploited in these institutions.

At the present what is most important is to clear all blockades in the water flow  system and the already  weak drainage. Water-logging is a big issue in the town and before the rains pour in, it needs to be attended to.

- Editorial


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