Smart City- How far- How close?

Udaipurites need to learn discipline to make this city Smarter
By Pranjal Kaushik, MAMC – Journalism, Symbosis, Pune
Udaipur’s tryst with turning into a smart city is only on papers it seems. With the number of crimes on rise, and failure of infrastructure and conduct- it’s time we focus on being smart and honest citizens first, and then invest in commodities.
The population at present stands around 5, 34,269 which is on rapid increase. But considering the tourism rush, the number of people in the city crosses few more thousands. Are we designed to manage such rush anyway? Come festivals, the city becomes home to tourists huge in number, which disrupts the traffic and roads become worse. The repairs only happen when someone of more importance than us visits the city. Mind you, only roads to that route are repaired and other roads are ignored conveniently. Public conveyance is full of surprises, they stop and turn to get sawaaris and facing smug wrongful drivers is a part of our lives. In fact, there are no proper bus-stands in the city. Diyanshi Shekhawat, a student, says” Something as basic as safety has to be imposed. How are we smart if we still need police officers to fine us for our safety? Govt. is a machinery to facilitate and help. My parents never had to tell me to ride with a helmet, it’s my responsibility.”
Apart from the beautiful traditional paintings on the wall, you’ll find spray-painted messages and red spit spots all around. “You can provide new hospitals, roads, stadiums, malls and what not, for the sake of facilities, but you can’t make it smarter…” Sudha Mishra, a school teacher said.
Vacant plots in the city have become home to snakes, stray dogs and pigs! Residents dump garbage and construction raw material too. This has worsened the environment with extra dust and has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Garvita Jain, of Mahaveer Nagar, sector-4 said “Every second plot, starting from plot – 46 has become an open dustbin or a dense forest. Have tried multiple times but the corporation doesn’t turn-up. Smartness does not come with wealth and health, it comes with civic sense.” To add to the existing problems, dried up rivers are treated the same way, and there is no proper sewage system.
With so many problems of mis-conduct and sheer ignorance, we as citizens to a smart and paradise-like city, should stand up to a cleaner and better function-ing life. It’s high time we don’t give expensive toys to children who don’t know how to use them- And if they do not learn how to use, they would only abuse…
We need to be vigilant, honest and responsible. A Smart City is a successful citizen’s monarchy.

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