With over a 100 smart cities in the offering, Dehradun happens to be one of the most debatable ones in question. Issues regarding the development of Dehradun as a smart city is posing some tough questions to the Uttarakand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. On the one hand, the Smart City approach promises to bring about substantial economic reform to the city. On the other, it is also believed that the smart city ambition may land up robbing the city of its scenic beauty owing to the destruction of the vast expanse of 2,000 acres of tea estate.
While the planned city may stand as a bastion of development, environmental concerns may very well take a backseat in the process. When Smart City is a product, the green pastures being mowed down is a hazardous by-product if the plan does not include the principles of a Smart environment.
Dehradun, the muse of the legendary author, Ruskin Bond, who has also written a book, “A town called Dehra” published in the year 2008, recalls his early years in the city as he imbibed the taste of tea and love for the city’s natural environs in the process. The smart city being planned in these tea estates in an area of 3km x 3km is already attracting heavy criticism from environmentalists from across the country spelling a serious obstacle in the culmination of the smart city project in Dehradun.
With a plan for a mobile application for city services reporting the avoidable by the citizens, whilst categorizing the city to help the people for smart interaction, the expected positive outcomes in the plan are a plenty. In addition to providing at least a 10% of solar energy created for the citizens, and the 10% of the bill, a 100% of the electricity for the city would come from the Gas based Power plant. With cycling tracks, non-vehicle zones, and smart materials used for green buildings, the prospect of the plan is a beneficial one, nonetheless clearing out green pastures for the so-called green buildings wouldn’t provide the people of Dehradun the clean air they would otherwise breathe. The components wouldn’t be worth inhaling with the smart green building materials.
Nonetheless, the smart city plan includes eco-friendly characteristics that would help eventually, but the route is long and tiresome. The safety of the citizens of Dehradun is of utmost importance, a wild chance if not taken would create major hassles no one would withhold. A playground of construction for the good of a city might come handy later but the disputable foundation might rock the benefits out. Apart from being a leisure destination, medical tourism has also brought the city into the limelight with its abundant natural bounty. Dehradun also splashed as headlines with Sonia Gandhi bringing in the new years in quite town of this city.
A beautiful idea needs a beautiful start and an implementation model that is sustainable. Initiating a project with such towering ambitions would require incredible foresight which would include not just economic and technological development but sensitivity to the environment as well.