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‘Creating smart city must include educating public to be smart citizens’

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Jun 26, 2022 1:45 am
Japfuphiki Cultural Society presenting “tati pfe” during 7th anniversary of Smart City Mission at Capital Cultural Hall, Kohima on Saturday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent

Kohima, June 25 (EMN): Smart city projects and plans must ensure that every individual has access to clean drinking water, said KD Vizo, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, on Saturday even as he suggested the possibility of harvesting rainwater to address water shortage.

‘Water is a precious resource and therefore sustainable method of harvesting rainwater needs to be explored so that supply remains consistent throughout the year,’ said Vizo, who is also a member of Board of Directors, Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL).

He was speaking on the occasion of Smart City Mission 7th anniversary on the theme, ‘Sabka Bharat, Nikharta Bharat’, at Capital Cultural Hall in Kohima.

“Today in Nagaland, it needs to start from the basics, such as ensuring cleanliness in the city and making efforts to clean the city. Waste segregation measures need to be taken up and their importance should be communicated to the public as it will ease the recycling measures, and reduce the logistical cost and space required for dumping,” he said.

“Engage the community by working with them to identify factors affecting them, and find out potential solutions. Creating a smart city must include educating the public to be smart citizens and that includes extensive use of information technology and an electronic data-backed approach. Being inclusive of the smart city solutions should benefit all citizens. Be visionary, innovative and have long-term solutions that are not only effective but also have the potential to improve upon the original plans,” he added.

KD Vizo speaking at the event. (EM Images)

The official further called for a mission to build the four pillars of the Smart City Mission — social infrastructure, physical infrastructure, institutional infrastructure (including governance) and economic infrastructure — with the citizens as the centre of attention for each of these pillars.

“Let the plan be to serve citizens at the centre, be it in planning, execution or delivery,” he said.

The focus of the Smart City Mission, he said, is on sustainable and inclusive livable development, to create cities that work for its citizens to be sustainable and thrive, and to offer multiple opportunities to its people to pursue their diverse interests.

The purpose of the Smart Cities Mission is to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to smart outcomes, he added.

However, planning, if haphazard or not implemented strategically, could have unforeseen consequences contributing to unsuitable living conditions. On this, he urged all to use information and communication technologies extensively to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of services and citizen welfare.

“Today, cities are under tremendous pressure to satisfy the needs of their citizens. However, Smart city performance hugely depends on its citizens,” he said and prayed that the Kohima Smart City emerges as the cleanest and smartest city in the Northeast and serves as a role model for other cities to follow.

“The government under different departments such as health, education, power, IT, etc., is also taking steps to see that the welfare schemes of the government reach the targets so that a holistic development can take place in Kohima city,” he asserted.

The two multi-parking spaces that are in the process of completion, redevelopment of Khouchiezhie ground, IT kiosks, installation of red lights, installation of CCTVs, etc., are some of the important initiatives that have been taken up by Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KSCDL, Kezha Theunuo, in his address said that the ‘Smart City Mission’ in India was launched on June 25, 2015 with the main objective of promoting cities that provide infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to their citizens; a clean and sustainable environment through the application of smart solutions.

“There is no universally accepted definition of a Smart City and the conceptualisation varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of resources and development, willingness to change and reform, and aspirations of the city residents.

“During the past seven years, 100 Smart cities of India have been simultaneously developing towards smartness with Smart City Mission guidelines. All these smart cities are striving to develop India into a safe and livable nation irrespective of castes and religion,” he said.

‘Kohima was selected as smart city amongst the 100 smart cities in India in September 2016. Since then, Kohima Smart City Development has been striving to the best of its ability, to develop infrastructure and services for social, economic, institutional and governance. Kohima is not only a smart city but also a city of culture in Nagaland. The ethnicity of Kohima consists of different tribes which have been residing here since time immemorial. Kohima Smart City is adopting interventions in our city services by upholding our rich culture, traditions and identity,’ he added.

Administrator of Kohima Municipal Council, Lanusenla Longkumer also sought co-operation from all quarters towards transforming Kohima into a smart city.

Earlier in the programme, Japfuphiki Cultural Society presented “tati pfe” while Eastory project, Pelenuo Yhome, Nancy Magh, and Keneiletuo Metha also performed. 

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Jun 26, 2022 1:45:29 am