'We are pondering on more than one option for the Smart City proposal'

Thu, 2015-09-10 17:22 -- SCC India Staff

Praveen Gedam, Nashik Municipal Commissioner

 

Nashik is one of the ten cities selected from the state of Maharashtra. The city has a total population of over 16 lakh, and annual budget allocation for the civic body as of date is pegged at Rs 1,200 crore.

In a recent interview to Construction World, the Municipal Commissioner of Nashik Municipal Corporation, Praveen Gedamspoke about the civic body's initiatives, efforts and transparency in the day-to-day activities is one of this proudest achievement.

Additional we asked the Commissioner, the Corporation's plan now that Nashik has been shortlisted in the '100 Smart Cities Challenge' what are the next steps they will be taking to make it to the next leg?

For the next step we are going to appoint a consultant to prepare a smart city proposal - in what is known as a 'Smart City Challenge'. While preparing the proposal we will take all the stakeholders into confidence, discuss with them, take ideas and feedback from citizen and every possible stakeholder and then decide which project exactly has to be taken up.

Basically, there are three options, retrofitting, redevelopment and greenfield development. But I think, in our case, we will be selecting between retro-fitting and re-development. This is about the localised plan.

About detailed plan, we are thinking of a pan-city component probably transport plan, this will finalise only after taking view of the consultant.

Simultaneously, we will also submit a methodology by which we are going to increase the income of the Corporation in the long-term, so that all these projects become economically viable.

On Nashik's contribution to the 'Make in India' campaign and development plans under JNNURM?

We are one of the manufacturing hubs of the country. Some major companies like Samsonite, VIP, Crompton Greaves, Mahindra & Mahindra, Glenmark, Glaxosmithkline, ABB, Bosch, etc, are based in Nashik, so we are already contributing in a big way. Most JNNURM projects are complete now, except one project for underground sewerage.

On water and solid waste management...

We have a state-of-the-art waste processing plant, which we propose to outsource so we will have 100 per cent treatment. Nashik is a clean and green city. Garbage is collected by vehicles, making it a 'garbage dump free' city.

The corporation has also made it mandatory for new constructions in the city to install a rainwater harvesting system, without which a completion certificate is not granted.

Steps towards Swachh Bharat Abhiyan...

We are planning to plug the gap of household lateral in slum areas under the Swachh Bharat Mission. We plan to increase the number of garbage collection vehicles as well as start an energy plant in a short period of time.

On budget allocation...

We have a budget of around Rs 1,200 crore every year. A major challenge, basically, is that the demand of work is more than the revenue. But I think this is everywhere, so work has to be prioritised.

You feel proud about...

All our work, with all the details, including names of contractors, amount, defect liability period and the photographs (before, during and after execution), are in the public domain, on websites, etc, which are visible to anyone. If that is not done, we don´t pass the bills. Not a single rupee is spent unknown to the public.

Indeed, a lot of our activities are online. We have developed a versatile mobile app, Smart Nashik. Once downloaded, citizens can pay their taxes, put up their grievances, contact their corporators and much more. We are using a modern 'selfie' attendance system for the sanitation of workers, wherein attendance is taken in real time and real location as well, hence there is no scope of forging attendance and not doing the work.

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