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Civic Body readies proposals under Smart City plan
Abhay Khairnar | Friday, 8 May 2015 AT 11:38 PM IST
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Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has kept a host of proposals ready to get grants under the upcoming Smart City project. Sharing this information as a part of the ongoing ST-GUPSHUP series at the Sakal Times office on Thursday, PMC Commissioner Kunal Kumar said that equal distribution of water, improving public transport and solid waste management would be the key priority areas.

The Commissioner’s interaction also marked the seventh anniversary of Sakal Times. Under ‘ST Gupshup’ series, Sakal Times invites bureaucrats and politicians to discuss their priorities for the city.

Once the Smart City scheme is launched and Pune becomes a part of it, the civic body will immediately submit the projects to get grants from the Central government, the Commissioner said. He said that the existing water sources, which are Khadakwasla reservoir and Bhama Askhed, would be enough only till 2027.

He stressed on the need to tap another water source to plan for water supply up to 2047. The civic body is considering various options, he added.

“Unequal water distribution is another challenge. The 34 villages, which are soon to be added to PMC limits, would put more pressure so we have kept the Rs 2,800 crore equal water distribution project ready for 24x7 scheme. Under this scheme, water meters would be introduced in the city,” said the Commissioner.

Kumar said that PMC is in the process of establishing a planning department for transport and traffic in the civic body. As there is no proper planning, most of the projects fail, felt Kumar.
“All over the world, it is accepted that widening of roads is not a solution to ease the traffic problem in the city. The only solution is to run public transport effectively and therefore we are committed to improve it,” he maintained.

PMC is keen on e-governance and mobile-governance to bring more transparency and more facilities to the citizens and various measures to this effect will soon be taken, he said.

Pune has done a good job in slum rehabilitation scheme and it’s only Mumbai and Pune that have been effectively implementing it, said Kumar, adding that the pace of the work needs to improve to make the city slum-free.

‘Only road widening cannot solve city’s traffic problems’


Kunal Kumar, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner while interacting with Sakal Times staffers during the ST-Gupshup on Wednesday said solid waste management, e-governance, transport and water supply remains to be the main challenges for the civic body.  According to Kumar, the issue of garbage can be addressed by improving collection, augmenting processing capacity and arriving at a decision for usage of disposal land. While expressing optimism on e-governance, Kumar said time and energy of people has to be saved while helping them resolve civic issues. We share with you a gist of the many questions that the commissioner answered for us....

Garbage

  • Door to door collection by informal sections of rag pickers needs to be organised.
  • Expansion of organised door to door collection of garbage will be taken up at the General Body meeting.   
  • Augmentation of processing capacity needs to be undertaken.
  • Arriving at a decision for usage of new waste disposal land is imminent.

E-Governance

  • Simplification of procedures and setting up of communication lines with citizens.
  • Need to find ways in which people can receive e-governance.
  • Faster clearances and a clear time frame in which issues are resolved.

Transport

  • The PMC needs to set up a planning division to deal with transport-related issues.
  • Traffic problems cannot be solved only by road widening.
  • Removal of illegal encroachment can help widening of roads.

Slum rehabilitation

  • Current slum rehabilitation authority does not suit the PCMC.
  • 38 per cent population in Pune lives in slums.
  • Only 7 per cent of the city consists of slums.  
  • All planned slums are not getting redeveloped.
  • Road digging charges for government and semi-government agencies
  • The PMC has proposed to its standing committee that digging charges be reduced by 50 per cent.
  • Present charges of Rs 5,600 per metre for digging charges is exorbitant.

Water supply

  • It is going to take time to solve water problems.
  • A project such as smart city can help revive the water metering project.

Health issues

  • Water logging in posh areas needs to be addressed to overcome dengue.
  • The PMC has to interact with private sector to ensure patients don’t suffer.
  • Health management systems need to improve.

 
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