Smart City Mission: Unique initiative towards making JK cities a hub of modern infrastructural edifice
Jammu, Srinagar cities fast marching towards enhanced growth, development
SRINAGAR : In India, the Smart City Mission (SCM) has been initiated with an aim to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology that leads to smart outcomes. Smart city mission mainly focuses on four things; Social Infrastructure, Physical Infrastructure, Institutional Infrastructure (including Governance) and Economic Infrastructure.
Cities are mainly the places of confluences of people; places where people live, come to meet, exchange ideas, earn livelihoods, access education, health and other services and enjoy a life of good quality. People are at the core of the city and in that sense cities should work for their people. Cities that work for their people will continuously become better versions of themselves with each passing day.
We need to understand the reasons which make a city attractive to people in the first place. These reasons would be, to a large extent, different for different cities and different for different sets of people and therefore cannot be generalized. Some cities attract people for the opportunities that exist therein as markets and centres for manufacturing, some others due to the greatness of their cultures or their cosmopolitan vibes and others for their ability to provide better education and health facilities or a combination of factors and so on.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir, in its endeavor to make cities of the UT hub of modern infrastructural edifice to enhance quality of life here, has initially took up Jammu and Srinagar cities for development into smart cities under Smart City Mission. The vision for Jammu city is “Transforming Jammu into a sustainable and economically vibrant city focusing on tourism, quality of life and trade by leveraging its heritage and location.” Promoting Jammu’s identity, sustainable and liveable Jammu and promoting inclusion are the three main action areas which have been identified to make the vision implementable. Besides, city chowk multi-level parking, renovation of MA stadium, construction of musical fountain at Bagh e Bahu, improvement of street lighting by LED bulbs, multi-level parking at bus-stand, 100 bedded emergency block at GMC-Jammu, Jammu ropeway project are some notable projects completed under smart city mission in Jammu city, so far.
For Srinagar city, Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL), a Special Purpose Vehicle, has been created under Smart City Mission which envisions transforming Srinagar into an eco-friendly, resilient and socio-economically vibrant city that celebrates its natural and cultural heritage creating harmony and opportunities for all.
Srinagar Smart City aspires to leverage its natural and cultural heritage/ tourism through innovative and inclusive solutions, enhance the quality of life for its citizens. EV charging stations, smart street lighting, multi-level parking, sports infrastructure (3 stadia and 5 schools), water transport system in Jhelum river, installation of ornamental LED lighting around Dal-lake, pedestrian walkways and footpath, riverbank development have been started under smart city mission in Srinagar.
The main goal behind launching Smart City Mission is to create a city for its people which possess their chosen pursuits. Not all people or sets of people desire the same things. In order to simplify the understanding of the diversity of needs expressed by a city’s diverse residents, it is useful to classify them under three broad pillars including livability, economic-ability and sustainability. These three broad outcomes are the main things a city needs to target in order to work for its people.
In J&K, the Smart City Mission has brought remarkable transformation for both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar. Some magnificent projects of economic importance as well as those which will significantly improve the quality of life of people are being executed at both the capital cities.
Notably, in coming years, Jammu and Kashmir will see a new dawn of development which will transform the overall economic landscape here besides raising the living standards of people across the UT.