The Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) has appointed a consortium of three firms—Rudrabhishek Enterprises Pvt Ltd (REPL), Grant Thornton and ABN Consulting—as project management consultants for the implementation of Varanasi smart city project, which is spread over 1,389 acre.
An approach of area-based development (ABD) will be taken along with pan city solutions. The plan will include retrofitting of old city alongside the Ganga River, comprising of major temples, heritage sites and cultural places with special emphasis on socio-economic growth.
A citizen engagement programme was undertaken to determine the priority areas. Consultants will prepare detailed project reports (DPRs) on various parameters such as water supply and sewerage systems, intelligent traffic management, smart security system, heritage conservation, tourism promotion activities, etc.
In an official statement, Pradeep Misra, Chairman and Managing Director of REPL, said, “The Varanasi smart city is certainly going to be uniquely challenging for us. We feel absolutely privileged to be part of this project, which has immense historic, cultural and heritage importance for the entire nation.”
“While keeping the core essence of the city intact, we have to make the city smart, so that it becomes a model for replication. I hope we would also be able to leverage our experience and learning on our other smart city consultancy works in Indore and Bhopal”, he added.
REPL will assist Varanasi in various phases of project implementation, which will include activities like the preparation of DPR, coordination with various appointed consultants, project prioritisation and phasing, preparing capital investment plan, implementation roadmap, conducting feasibility study, bid process management for selection of implementing agencies, overall project management, among others.
The vision of Varansi smart city is “to rejuvenate the oldest living Indian city of Varanasi as a great place to live and visit by conserving and showcasing its enriched heritage, culture, spirituality and traditions through innovative social and financial inclusion solutions”.